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Smith said the shooting was in self-defense.

CONNELLY SPRINGS — A Morganton man has been charged with murder in an early morning shooting death.

Andrew Carlos Smith, 28, of 2035 Sunnyside Drive, was charged with murder after Lawrence Ervin McGee, 47, of 5193 Old N.C. 18, was shot and killed early Monday morning, court documents said.

Deputies responded to 4946 Old N.C. 18 after a 911 call reported someone on a four-wheeler was running over two people at 1:58 a.m. Another person reportedly fired shots at the rider, a release from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office said.

The four-wheeler rider died shortly after deputies and medical personnel arrived, the release said.

Smith spoke to reporters as he was walked into the magistrate’s office Monday morning.

“Guilty until proven innocent,” he said.

Smith sai d it was self defense.

“The truth will come out,” Smith said.

As he was walked out of the magistrate’s office, he said he was using his concealed carry weapon.

“I was protecting myself, my friends and my family,” Smith said.

Sheriff Steve Whisenant said that while the 911 caller reported that the shooting was in self-defense, investigation suggested otherwise.

“When we went to the scene, things did not add up completely to like the original information was given,” Whisenant said. “As evidence was collected, it appears that it wasn’t completely self-defense, so we have charged one of the suspects.”

He said he wished people would call police to handle disturbances.

“Anytime that you have any kind of domestic disturbance or something, call law enforcement,” Whisenant said. “In this situation, the allegation was that it was self-defense, and obviously we can’t be there all the time, but in most cases, we just ask [that people] call law enforcement and let us deal with the situation.”

The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting BCSO with the case.

Smith is being held at Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility with no bond. He has a first court appearance set for Wednesday, the release said.

More information will be published as it becomes available.

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