CHADBOURN, NC (WWAY) -- A Columbus County man is dead after being shot during an alleged home break-in. Investigators are trying to figure out if the man was shot by a resident of the home or his own partner in crime.
Around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning residents of this home on North Wilkes Street in Chadbourn say two men forced their way in. They kicked in the door, knocking the frame loose. On the other end a frightened resident who was willing to defend himself.
A roommate, who does not want to be identified, said his friend shot at the intruders as they burst through the door. The buck shot from the 12-gauge shotgun hit one of the two intruders. The resident tells us the men were startled when they saw the gun and heard the blast, running out the door.
The man who was shot, Eddie Best Jr., fell to the ground along the side of the home. The other suspect ran off toward the back. Police confirm Best died at the hospital about an hour later.
According to Chadbourn police, Best did not live to far from the scene of the crime. His home was down the road on South Wilkes Street.
Despite what the residents tell WWAY, the police department initially reported to other media outlets that once the alleged robbers were inside, one of the suspects shot his partner. Chadbourn Police say the confusion about what really happened has led to a lag in the investigation as they continue to piece together the truth and figure out who shot and killed the man.
Police Chief Steven Shaw says the investigation has now shifted focus. He is now calling the incident an apparent first degree burglary, which resulted in self defense.
No arrests have been made. The investigation continues.