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Cumberland family spends first Thanksgiving without slain father

The Stocks family mourn the loss of their father, James Stocks, who was found shot to death inside his home days before Thanksgiving.

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James Stocks of Cedar Creek would have been with his children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren on Thursday, giving thanks over a big spread.

But now, the front porch light is on for no one.

Stocks, 76, was found shot to death inside his home Sunday. A family member

"It ain’t like Thanksgiving,” his son, Anthony Stocks, said. “I give God all my thanks.”

The family did gather on Thursday and give thanks over a meal, hard as that was after the shock of what happened Sunday. That’s when Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies were called to James Stocks’ home on 7418 Turnbull Road after family members couldn't get him to answer the door.

When deputies arrived, a family member forced entry into the home, and Stocks, 76, was found lying in a pool of blood on the living room floor.

“My son found him in there on the floor, Sunday morning,” Anthony Stocks said, pointing to the spot where his father died.

The elder Stocks had been robbed of cash and firearms, investigators say. Two men were arrested: Brandon Avery, 20, and Brandon Stewart, 22.

Anthony Stocks said Brandon Avery grew up down the road and had been close to the Stocks family.

"He stayed here with my boys, spent the nights, everything here,” he said.

The day after James Stocks was found dead, another man was shot and killed.

James Bryant, 72, lived alone on Oxford Street in east Fayetteville.

Investigators said the motive was the same in both killings: Robbery. They believe at least one of the suspects knew Bryant.

"You never know who your friends are,” Anthony Stocks said.

He said his father was a "hard-working man, ain’t bothered nobody. A loving man.”



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