Local News

Sheriff: Montgomery County fatal shootings not random

Posted January 13, 2012
Updated January 14, 2012

— 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.

Star, NC, shaken by shootings Star, NC, shaken by shootings

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."


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  • Offshore Jan 17, 2012

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people. If you take away guns then the tool of destruction will be something else. If you take away guns from the legal gun owners, then the only gun holders will be law enforcement & criminals.

  • YeahISaidIt Jan 13, 2012

    You all do realize that most of the people using guns are NOT law abiding citizens. Anyone who wants to commit a crime will find the means to do so. Not sure why people are always talking about gun laws and gun control. They would have to stop making guns completely to control them.

  • RM24 Jan 13, 2012

    Until the blame is placed where it belongs, and dealt with nothings gonna change. Maybe this guy has some kind of "post lumberyard distress problem"?
    No WAY it is he actually responsible.

  • RM24 Jan 13, 2012

    Sorry to inform you but you can't pass enough laws to create this perfect world.

  • bowslinger70 Jan 13, 2012

    Duh--it's not about Guns---it's about a country that has lost all Moral Values. If he had not had a Gun, he would have poisond the water and killed them all--Or--Burnt the place down a killed them all--or---and Or !!

  • Rebelyell Jan 13, 2012

    Charges should be brought up for all that assisted saving this life. He didn't want it and taxpayers sure as WRAL don't want it. The trial and the incarceration expenses should be paid by the perps that did this horrible deed. Perfect example of no common sense.

  • WooHoo2You Jan 13, 2012

    Just curious, but how on Earth did he get the gun? I've been hearing since BEFORE Obama was sworn in that he was gonna take all the guns away as soon as he got in. I know it was true, I heard it on FOX "news" and AM Talk Radio. ;) ;)-SARCASTICLES

    If what they keep telling us is true i have been taking away my own guns for years being a democrat and a gun owner!

  • SARCASTICLES Jan 13, 2012

    Just curious, but how on Earth did he get the gun? I've been hearing since BEFORE Obama was sworn in that he was gonna take all the guns away as soon as he got in. I know it was true, I heard it on FOX "news" and AM Talk Radio. ;) ;)

  • WooHoo2You Jan 13, 2012

    Haggis, you lose in this discussion with your concerns about permits and handguns. The perp had a shotgun, which is not under any restrictions.- retroconsultant

    Well ask your neighborhood felon to go purchase a shotgun at walmart and see how that works out for him. Or the felony charge he would face for simply holding one if caught. No restrictions, eh?

  • Big D 87 Jan 13, 2012

    Sad,I used to deliver lumber to them they all seemed like a good bunch of people. My prayers go out to all