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Man killed after being shot by bail bondsman, witness says

In World
January 09, 2024

One person is dead after a shooting Sunday in an area north of Morganton, according to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

ALSO READ: CMPD investigates deadly shooting at east Charlotte apartments

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called to a mobile home along Pax Hill Road near Piney Road just after 4 p.m. to investigate a shooting.

At the scene, one person was suffering from a gunshot wound and was taken to the hospital. On Monday, the victim was identified as 57-year-old Gary David Ritch.

The sheriff’s office says Ritch died at the hospital.

Deputies told Burke County bureau reporter Dave Faherty that a local bond agency had been to the home before the shooting occurred. On Monday, the sheriff’s office said, “There were bail bonding agents on the scene at the time of the shooting.”

‘It’s wrong’

Ritch’s girlfriend, Polly Moretz, told Faherty that she heard three to four shots after a man and a woman kicked in a door and forced their way into the bedroom of the home.

That’s where Moretz says they shot and killed her boyfriend. Moretz showed Faherty where some of the rounds struck her bathroom wall.

Ritch, she said, had been previously arrested for driving while intoxicated.

“DWI, that’s all,” Moretz told Faherty. “It’s wrong. It’s wrong to do somebody like that.”

Moretz said Ritch had been arrested for DWI three times since 2015, but he was out of jail on a $9,000 bond.

Moretz says Ritch had a B.B. rifle inside the home with pellets, but we don’t know if he was holding it at the time he was shot

The sheriff’s office hasn’t identified which bail bonding company was at the scene.

Moretz believes they should face charges.

‘You have the right to pick them up’

Faherty spoke with Chapman Bonding, which has been in business for three decades, about the guidelines that bondsmen follow when they enter somebody’s property. State guidelines allow them to go into people’s homes.

“If you go two, three, four people, you usually don’t have a problem,” said Glen Ray Chapman, the owner of Chapman Bonding.

“If they owe you money or if they miss court on you … you have the right to pick them up and put them in jail,” said Rick Hasson with Chapman Bonding.

Officials with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to investigate the incident, the cause of the shooting has not been released.

Authorities say they’ll be consulting with the local district attorney’s office to see if charges will be filed.

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