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Sheriff: Ronald Dean Davis Dies At UNC Hospital From Self Inflicted Gunshot Wound

9:43 AM, Jan 14, 2012   |    comments
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Star, NC -- The Montgomery County Sheriff says Ronald Dean Davis, 50, the suspect in the McBride Lumber Company shooting has died.

Davis died at 6:00 am Saturday morning at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The Montgomery County Sheriffs Department is still investigating. They will release more details at a later time.

Sheriff Dempsey Owens says Davis shot four co-workers, killing three before turning the gun on himself Friday morning in the town of Star.

The shootings happened in a warehouse at McBride Lumber on McBride Lumber Road. 

SLIDESHOW - Images from the scene of the Star lumber company shooting

Montgomery County Sheriff Dempsey Owens said Davis walked into the warehouse at the lumber business around 6:15am with a 12-gauge shotgun.  That is when he began shooting.

Three employees were found dead inside the warehouse.  A fourth victim was found injured outside.  That injured victim was airlifted to the hospital.

Owens said the victims were not random.  There were 16 employees in the business at the time of the shooting.  Owens said Davis, who was an employee of the plant, appeared to have targeted the four men he shot.

"I am under the impression that he knew who he went after," said Owens.

Davis fled the scene after the shooting.  The surviving victim was able to identify the suspect allowing deputies to track him to his house in Ether, NC. 

There they found Davis with injuries from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was also flown to the hospital for treatment of his injury.

Sheriff Owens said they are treating the shooting as a workplace violence situation.   He said Davis left a 6-page handwritten note.  He said the contents of that note are still under investigation. 

Owens said there's a "possibility" Davis was being harassed at work, though he stressed that investigators had not yet identified a motive.

Davis did not have a criminal record.

The shootings shook this tight knit community.

"It's a very quiet community," said Owens.  "Everybody knows everybody and I don't know what would send a man off the edge to go and do such a heinous act this morning."

The names of the victims have not been released, but the Sheriff said they were all males.

WFMY News 2's Mac Ingraham is on the scene and will bring the latest details on WFMY News 2 at 5 and 6... as well as all day on Digtriad.com. 

Follow Mac on Twitter - @macingraham - for the latest updates from the scene.


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