Local News

Sampson Authorities Investigate Shooting Death Of Store Owner

Posted January 31, 2003 10:05 a.m. EST

— Authorities are looking for clues into the shooting death of a Sampson County store owner.

R.B. Matthews was found shot to death in front of his store. He was found by his son, Gary, who said he always tried to be at the store when his father opened for fear that something may happen.

Friends described R.B. as the kind of person everybody liked, one who would often extend a shopper's credit so they could buy food.

"It's unbelievable. I don't know why anyone would want to do this. He was a real good man and I just loved coming here," customer Chris Martin said.

"It's just unbelievable. I can't put it into words. He's just a fixture in this community," said Ralph Williams, a friend of Matthews.

Matthews had owned the store in Clement for more than 15 years. Local authorities and the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the case.

Investigators are not saying if Matthews was robbed. Right now, police have no suspects.

Authorites said the store had an alarm, but it did not have any surveillance equipment.