Local News

Pine Level community mourns man killed in shooting

Stefan Gudac of Pine Level will have a first court appearance Monday. He is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Devin Barber.

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PINE LEVEL, N.C. — A Smithfield man who was killed early Saturday in a small Johnston County town is remembered as a beloved member of his community.

Devin Barber was shot to death around 1:30 a.m. when an argument erupted among a group of friends in a house at 417 E. Pine St. in Pine Level, police said.

Friends of the Barber family said that he grew up in the town of about 1,800 residents alongside the suspect in his slaying, 23-year-old Stefan Gudac.

"This neighborhood is such, like it's close-knit, and it just feels like a piece of it is gone," said Barber's friend Julie Parnell. "This neighborhood won't ever be the same without Devin."

As a grown man, Barber moved to Smithfield – just six miles away from Pine Level.

"Devin was a good kid. He is loved by his dad and his mother and his little sister," family friend David A. Cory said. "He was loved by all his friends and neighbors."

Barber was an Eagle Scout, the highest rank awarded by the Boy Scouts of America.

Stefan Gudac was charged with first-degree murder and placed in the Johnston County Jail without bond.

He lived at 417 E. Pine St. with his father, Anthony Gudac, a town commissioner who oversees the police department. Police said Anthony Gudac was not at home at the time of the shooting.

Because of Anthony Gudac's position, the State Bureau of Investigation was helping Pine Level police with the case.

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Beau Minnick, Reporter
Geof Levine, Photographer
Anne Johnson, Web Editor
Jodi Leese Glusco, Web Editor

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