Capt. Tony Strickland said that officers responded to calls around 2:30 a.m. about a fight and gunshots fired at the inn's bar. They found Robert Pressley, of Dunn, lying in the parking lot.
Pressley died of a gunshot wound at Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital.
Strickland said that detectives are interviewing witnesses to the shooting and trying to develop information about a suspect. The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting Dunn police.
Guests at the inn said they didn't hear gunshots last night and woke up to see police and SBI agents Sunday morning.
The owner of the hotel bar, the Royal Inn Lounge, said nothing like this had happened there before. The bar is open Friday and Saturday nights, and records show that alcohol permits for the bar were issued in October.
Workers at nearby businesses said that police patrol the bar on the weekends, but they didn't know of any prior problems there.
A sign stating "No Weapons" hangs next to the front door of the bar.
Anyone with information about the shooting should call Dunn police at 910-892-2399.