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Suspect in Monday fatal shooting found dead

Authorities have released the name and cause of death of a man found earlier this week dead while sitting on a lawnmower, and a second man — identified as a “person of interest” in the shooting, is now dead.

Deputies with the Surry County Sheriff’s Office initially responded in the case at 1:18 p.m. Monday to a house in the 600 block of Golf Course Road in Pilot Mountain. There they found Vincent Lee Bray, 65, dead from an apparent gunshot according to Surry County Sheriff Steve C. Hiatt.

Working with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, officials ruled the death a homicide, and identified Michael (Mike) Patrick Alford, 71, of 657 Golf Course Road, Pilot Mountain as “a person of interest,” the sheriff said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

“It appears that Mr. Bray and Mr. Alford had a history of disagreements dating back years,” the sheriff said. “Investigators interviewed Mr. Alford on May 9…in the evening hours pertaining to the incident. Mr. Alford abruptly concluded the interview with investigators and left walking from the Surry County Sheriff’s Office,” the sheriff said.

The next day Alford’s wife, Debra Alford. reported her husband missing, saying she had not spoken to him since his Monday night interview with the sheriff’s office.

On Wednesday, the sheriff said his office received a call about “a possible suicide incident” in the 400 block of Shoals Road, Pinnacle. There deputies arrived on the scene to found Michael Alford in an open field, dead from “an apparent self-inflected gunshot wound.”

The investigation is still active, the sheriff said, adding that no additional information will be released “at this time.”



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