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Sheriff's Office investigating death in Monkey Junction

READ MORE: Sheriff's Office investigating death in Monkey Junction

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A grisly discovery this morning in New Hanover County. Deputies say someone found 33-year-old Michael Lamar Smith dead inside a car in a Monkey Junction parking lot.

Judy Niedwiecky works at Edward Jones Investments, which is just two doors down from where a middle aged man was found dead outside of the Blockbuster on South College Road. She says she came into work just before eight thursday morning and parked in her usual spot.

"I noticed the car sitting two aisles away from me, but I didn't think too much of it," Niedwiecky said. "I thought maybe it was some early prep person for Ruby Tuesday."

It turned out to be much more.

"It was pretty desolate other than a couple of cars," New Hanover County Sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Jerry Brewer said. "It was just sitting in an open parking lot."

Brewer says investigators do not know much about what happened.

"They found a male subject in the passenger side of the vehicle with apparent gunshot wounds," he said. "EMS arrived and investigation by detectives is still going."

Niedwiecky says she was just glad she didn't park closer to the car.

"I was just grateful that whatever took place took place two aisles over, because had it been right near my car, I would have looked inside, thinking maybe it was a client waiting for me, and that would've been hard for me to have seen that," she said.

Sheriff's deputies have not confirmed what led to Smith's death.

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Mike was a gregarious, warm

Mike was a gregarious, warm and funny guy. He always made me laugh. I know he will be missed and hate that s this is what has made me think of him. I hope all of mikes friends and family can take comfort in all the great moments of his life and the memories they have of him.

Stop the disrespect!

Mike WAS a nice guy; sure he may have done some stupid things in life but hey, who hasn't? I doubt anything he could have done warranted being murdered! He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, in the wrong situation. Regardless, it is a tragedy for him to die way before his time and I feel for his family and loved ones. Everyone needs to stop being so harsh- it is VERY disrespectful (not to mention in bad taste) to speak so badly of him so shortly after his death! Mike, you will be missed.

STOP JUDGING! Mike was a

STOP JUDGING! Mike was a very nice guy! RIP Mike you will be missed buddy

What a great person that was

What a great person that was taken from this earth. HE is loved by many friends and family members. He was such a awesome guy and he will be missed always.
I'm sure all of you would want good things said about you when you leave. Be nice, live and love.

judge not----

who are some of these folks to make judgements on others?


I believe the people who are judging Mike on his past are the ones who have nothing better to do with their time. Mike was a good man no matter what his past was. He will still be missed by the people who knew him and grew up with him. Mike was a man who enjoyed making people smile and laugh. He helped me through a hard time in my life when my father past away and I never got to return the favor. It is now time to celebrate his life and remember his time with us. If you want to be a rude person and talk about a man who has lost his life without knowing the facts then you must be a sad person who feeds off others suffering. RIP Mike you will be missed by the ones who did have the pleasure of knowing you in our lives.

Can't Believe

I cannot believe how cruel people are online...
I don't know the guy or his family, am sorry it happened...
But look at all the stones being cast...
Everyone on this board has something in their past they are not proud of...
Most everyone has done something stupid at one point or time in their lives that they could have been arrested for.. Out of those only a very few get caught doing those one or two stupid things.. Mostof us grow up and learn better.. Then there are those thatdo stupid things, and keep on doing them and wind up being a menace to society and need to be kept locked up...
My point being.. We don't know this man's past or what it entailed, or why he did what he did.. Maybe he was a dumb kid doing stupid things.. Maybe an addict, maybe set-up, maybe he's a habitual criminal.. We don't know...
So dang.. stop being so judgemental people.. It's absurd and shows what a negative person you are and also what you say may hurt this guys family or friends... Why would you want to knowingly hurt someone's feelings who you don't know...?
In my book, that's just as bad as the things he did in his past, making you guilty of being a bad person.. Or maybe.. Just guilty of saying something stupid that one time...

cruelty thy name is wilmington

just keep reading people in this town can be very mean spirited




I don't know this man, any of his family or friends, but from his criminal record I hardly see a hardened career criminal. Actually, just the opposite.

presume goodness?

whatever with presuming goodness in our fellow man

Why ask why??? I'll tell you why.

The public is going to want to know what happened. I understand friends and family will have a hard time with that, but the public wants to know if this was a complete random act or if the victim was involved in behavior that may lead to violence. Are people being randomly shot in Monkey Junction parking lots? Maybe, maybe not. Just understand the community is going to want to know.

People wanting to know what

People wanting to know what happened is not a problem. Asking how long until they find drugs are involved is not trying to find out what happened. It is assuming drugs were involved and insulting a man that has lost his life. Thereis a way to ask questions without insulting Mike's memory and being a jerk. Intentionally insulting and hurting people grieveing the very recent loss of a loved one is cruel and heartless. Of course things phrased like that are going to set off those that knew and loved Mike.

If you want to know what happened then try asking in a resepctful manner that takes the feelings of others into consideration. (I am not saying you are the one that was so classless and cruel but thought this went best as a reply to your comment)

I agree

I agree, and above is my first post here, so I was not the one who posted asking about drugs. Unfortunately, there is and most likely will be many more insulting posts here. I do not agree with and do not want to be in any way associated with them. I just do have interest in what happened in my community (good or bad). Sometimes friends and family mistake this news website for an online memorial. I just want the facts.

why insult a memory

why on these occassions is there a need to insult memory of a deceased person and cause anguish toi thier famil

NO criminal record yet????????

Its the second day of this story and still no criminal record hmmmmmm....strange(please see other homicide stories)

Criminal record was established yesterday

Just look at the picture featured in the story...a NHCo mugshot. That is the single biggest giveaway that this gentleman had a criminal record, so assumptions regarding the possible involvement of criminal activity in his unfortunate death are justified.

Here it is

For criminal history, see above post.


Since when is 33 middle aged?

33 **IS** middle aged

We can prove it through simple math...

The Bible says that a man gets "three-score year and ten." That's seventy years. Thanks to modern medicine the average age now is around 78.

So if we split life into thirds, we find:

0 - 25 is young
26 - 51 is middle aged
52 - 78 is old

You can't argue with math, buddy.

My thoughts exactly!

My thoughts exactly!

RIP Mike. You will always

RIP Mike. You will always be remembered

RIP Mike.

RIP Mike.

Show some class

R.I.P. Mike. You will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with your family and loved ones.


Things sure have gone downhill for Blockbuster lately.

How long?

How long do you think it will be before they determine that drugs were involved?


Why does everybody think automaticaly that drugs are involved.
Would the demographics of this area depict this as a factor??
Before one assumes that its drugs they should wait till a report is
made from the sheriffs office, it could be a robbery gone bad, or a domestic situation.

Uh Huh

Uh Huh...everybody automatically thinks drugs are involved...because they usually are. Drugs know no demographics.

Honestly, what does it

Honestly, what does it matter how this young man died? Other than the facts needed for the sheriff's department and his family. It is tragic that another live has past and for possibly no reason. I would like to ask you what you want said about your death or worst one of your beloved family members? After all Mike has a family that no matter what happened are hurting right now.

Arn't we quick to judge.

Arn't we quick to judge. RIP Mike!