Local News

Hunter fatally shot at close range, authorities say

Posted December 24, 2012 5:12 p.m. EST
Updated December 24, 2012 6:50 p.m. EST

— A hunter who died Friday after three days on life support was shot at a relatively close range, Lee County sheriff's investigators said Monday.

Robert Matthew Devitto, 26, of Broadway, was duck hunting by himself last Tuesday on state game lands near Gunther Road in Lee County when he was shot.

Lee County sheriff's Capt. Jeff Johnson said that it was likely that whoever shot Devitto knew what he or she was shooting at and that the shooting was not an accident.

Johnson also said that, based on investigators' work so far, it appeared Devitto had also gotten into some kind of confrontation with another hunter.

Investigators are treating the case as a homicide and are asking for the public's help to solve the case.

Friends found Devitto's red Chevrolet pickup truck parked outside the game lands Tuesday night when he never returned home. A short time later, just after 8 p.m., they found him on the ground with a gunshot wound by a single buckshot round to his face and chest.

Devitto, who is also a soldier at Fort Bragg, was on life support and died just after 1p.m. Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 919-775-5531 or leave an anonymous tip at 919-718-4577. A cash reward is offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.

"Please, from Robert's family, if you heard or saw anything that day to come forward," someone wrote on Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter's blog Thursday. "Help us relieve some of the pain by getting our questions answered."