Local News

Woman Killed Almost Year After Son's Slaying

Posted December 21, 2007

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— Three days shy of the anniversary of her son's death in a drive-by shooting, a Spring Lake woman was killed late Thursday in what authorities have called a murder-suicide.

Cumberland County deputies found Eric McLean and Stephanie McLean, both 44, shot to death inside their home at 1320 Kingstown Court at about 11:40 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.

Investigators said the McLeans had been involved in an ongoing domestic dispute. Eric McLean became angry with his wife late Thursday and fatally shot her, and he then killed himself, authorities said.

"They said that he just went wild shooting," said Jackie Carr, Stephanie McLean's cousin.

Carr and other relatives said they weren't aware of domestic troubles between the McLeans.

Two other people also were wounded in the incident, authorities said.

Vontasia Moore, 14, Stephanie McLean's daughter, was shot and found unconscious near the woods line of the property, authorities said.

Charles Moore, 64, Stephanie McLean's father, was shot in the leg, authorities said. He was able to speak with deputies early Friday.

Carr said two small children also were in the house before the shooting.

"(Eric McLean) told them to get out, get out the house," Carr said, adding that the children weren't hurt.

Vontasia and Charles Moore were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Vontasia Moore was listed in critical condition Friday, while Charles Moore was listed as stable.

The home where the shootings occurred is on a dirt road off N.C. Highway 210. Relatives said the McLeans had planned to move into a new house nearby Sunday.

The slayings marked the second Christmas-time tragedy for the Moore family.

Last Dec. 23, Stephanie McLean's  22-year-old son, Jermaine Moore,  was gunned down in the Cliffdale West subdivision. He had gone to visit a friend, and authorities said he wasn't the intended victim in the shooting.

No one has been charged in Jermaine Moore's death.

Friends and relatives said Stephanie McLean was devoted to her children.

"She dressed them well. She kept them up and everything, you know, took them to church," family friend Esther Freeman said. "That was one thing I was proud about – Stephanie loved God."

Cumberland County deputies were investigating the case because a district judge in July barred the Spring Lake Police Department from investigating homicides in the town. Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis asked for the court order, saying the small police department lacked the manpower and training to handle major felony cases.