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Wilmington boat shop owner now facing murder charge

By Erin Smith

David Wayne Gore

The owner of a Wilmington boat shop is now facing a murder charge after the victim of a weekend shooting at an abandoned saw mill in Kelly has passed away, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

Major Larry Guyton confirmed Allen Blanchard, 34, of Wilmington, who was shot during an altercation at the former Squires Timber Saw Mill, which was located on NC 210, died on Monday. Major Guyton said an autopsy, which was originally scheduled for today (Tuesday, December 26th), has been postponed until Wednesday.

David Wayne Gore, 57, of Wilmington, was arrested on Saturday and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury following the altercation. Major Guyton said the charges against Gore will now be upgraded to murder.

According to Major Guyton, Gore, who is the owner of Gore Marine in Wilmington, came to Bladen County on Saturday looking for a stolen boat. According to reports, the boat was valued at $200,000 and was stolen from Gore Marine located on US Highway 421, Wilmington, on Sunday, December 17th.

“All we know is he (Gore) was told the boat was seen on NC 210 near Bladen County,” said Major Guyton.

Major Guyton said Gore had stopped at the old saw mill and was walking around it when he encountered Thau and Blanchard. They were reported to be loading scrap metal in a truck at the abandoned mill and Gore confronted them. During the altercation, Gore shot Blanchard who was airlifted from the scene to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

“They had nothing to do with the stolen boat, said Major Guyton.

Ryan Ciro Thau, 33, who was not injured in the incident, has been charged with felonious larceny.

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