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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest

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

  • Guest

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

  • Guest

    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.

  • Guest

    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.

  • Dixie

    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.

  • Guest

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

  • Guest

    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.

  • GuestAwe

    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…

  • Guest

    Things sure have gone downhill for Blockbuster lately.

  • GuestLee

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

  • Guest

    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.

  • Das Weibstück

    Check his record. When will they learn?

  • Guest

    Arn’t we quick to judge. RIP Mike!

  • Ray

    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.

  • guest

    It just doesn’t make sense to me why some people give there opinions about people they don’t even know. I do not know this man but my first thought was saddness. “Death” period is a sad situation. My prayers go out to his loved ones and may they find strenght to help them in this time of sorrow.

  • GuestLee

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

  • Guest

    You are judging others that you say judged this man. And I’m guessing you don’t know any of them either.

  • Meg

    I for one am judging the people making nasty comments on someone they do not know. I am judging them on their actions here. I am judging them on their cruelty. A man has lost his life. Parents have lost their child. A entire family has lost someone they love dearly. Friends have lost a man they cared for and depended on. So when someone chooses to ignore all that pain and post a nasty comment then yep I am going to judge them.

    What are these people judging Mike on? The fact that he died?

  • Guest

    Call it what ever you want, I just think that it is sad that these things are being written about someone that has just passed no matter what the reason may be. I am not here to debate you on this matter.

  • Guest

    Whether you choose to believe it or not, we ALL judge people every day of our lives. So, all of you can get off your high horse about the judgment. With that being said, it’s also way to early for folks to assume anything about this young man’s death. Save it for when the facts have been released. You may be right, you may be wrong, but I do not see any good about speculating when you most likely don’t know anything about the man or the incident.

  • Meg

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

  • Guest

    RIP Mike.

  • Micah

    RIP Mike. You will always be remembered

  • Guest

    Since when is 33 middle aged?

  • az

    My thoughts exactly!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    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.

  • Guest

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

  • GuestLee

    For criminal history, see above post.

  • Office Fan

    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.

  • Guestasas

    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.

  • Guest

    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)

  • Guestasas

    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.

  • Guest

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

  • Guest


  • Guest

    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.

  • Guest

    whatever with presuming goodness in our fellow man


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