Sheriff: Montgomery County fatal shootings not random
Posted January 13, 2012
Updated January 14, 2012
Star, N.C. — A 50-year-old man accused of shooting four men at McBride Lumber Co. in Montgomery County Friday morning targeted his victims, Sheriff Dempsey Owens said. Ronald Dean Davis, 50, turned the gun on himself after the shooting spree.
Deputies found him at his home, at 103 Telegraph Lane near Ether, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was still breathing and was transported to FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital, before being airlifted to a trauma center. He was in critical condition Saturday morning.
Three of his victims died and a fourth was also in critical condition Friday afternoon, Owens said, declining to release any names.
Davis entered the plant just after 6 a.m. and shot the four people with a 12-gauge shotgun, Owens said. Sixteen people were at work at the time.
"He knew who he went after," Owens said.
Authorities found a six-page letter at Davis' house. The contents, which "rambled on," are under investigation, Owens said. Davis did not have a criminal record, Owens said.
Donnie McBride, who owns the lumber company, said Davis has worked for him for about a decade and that one of the victims was Davis' cousin.
"I never dreamed anything like this would happen," McBride said.
Small community shaken
By Friday evening, word of the attack had spread throughout Star.
At Martha's Grill, diners came in for the seafood special and to share their confusion with neighbors.
"It wasn't real. It was totally unreal. You see it in the news all the time but never here," said Mona Brock.
"I couldn't hardly believe it," Carlton Kennedy echoed. He said faith would see his community through.
"These people here, myself included, have strong faith in the Lord. That's what it takes."