North Carolina motorist fatally shoots man trying to help him during storm: sheriff

Man Stuck on Icy Roads Accused of Killing Good Samaritan
Man Stuck on Icy Roads Accused of Killing Good Samaritan

(Reuters) - A North Carolina man accused of fatally shooting a Good Samaritan who had sought to help him when his vehicle got stuck in a snowstorm, was in jail facing a murder charge, a local sheriff said on Monday.

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At least five people came to the aid of Marvin Jacob Lee, 27, on Friday evening in Catawba County, North Carolina, during the storm that blanketed much of the U.S. East Coast, said Sheriff Coy Reid.

The motorist appeared intoxicated, Reid said, so his would-be helpers decided to call law enforcement. On hearing that discussion, Lee opened fire, the sheriff said.

"He jumped out of his car with a pistol and started shooting," Reid said, noting one man was struck and fell to the ground. "Then he walked over to that person and shot him several times in the back and killed him."

Jefferson Heavner, 26, was lying by the side of the road when law enforcement arrived, the sheriff said. The suspected shooter was sitting in his car and did not respond to commands to leave, prompting a call for a special response team.

When backup arrived, Lee appeared to be passed out in the driver's seat, Reid said. The motorist, still armed, awoke as officers approached and was then taken into custody.

Lee remained in jail without bond after a court appearance on Monday, the sheriff said.

In addition to a charge of murder, he faces four counts of attempted first-degree murder and a charge related to the discharge of his weapon, according to online jail records in Catawba County, about an hour northwest of Charlotte.

Heavner was the father of a 17-month-old son and thrived on helping people, his sister told the Charlotte Observer newspaper.

Reuters could not immediately contact an attorney for Lee.

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