Shooter now faces murder charge

ELIZABETHTOWN — Charges against a Wilmington man have been upgraded to murder after the man he shot on Saturday died from his injuries.

According to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, David Wayne Gore, 57, came to the Kelly area to search for a $200,000 boat that was recently stolen from his boat repair shop in Wilmington. Information Gore had been given brought him to the abandoned Squires Timber Saw Mill along N.C. 210 on Saturday morning.

While there, Gore came across two men loading scrap metal into a truck. During the ensuing confrontation, Gore reportedly shot one of the men — Allen Blanchard, 34, also of Wilmington — in the head while the second man, Ryan Ciro Thau, 33, managed to escape unharmed.

Blanchard was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington in critical condition, where he died on Monday. An autopsy was scheduled to be performed Wednesday.

Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker said neither Blanchard or Thau had any connection to the stolen boat, which remains missing. Thau, however, has been charged with felony larceny in connection with the scrap metal.

Gore, who owns Gore Marine on U.S. 421 in Wilmington, was originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and was being held in the Bladen County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond.