Police identify men killed at North Topsail Beach, keep other details quiet

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Submitted: Tue, 07/30/2013 - 3:09am
Updated: Thu, 08/01/2013 - 12:26pm

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Police in North Topsail Beach are still not saying much about what led to the deaths of two men on the beach Thursday night, but we do finally know who the men were and about their troubles with the law in the past.

Robert Clinton Shellhammer IV and Christopher William Stewart lived just a few miles from one another in Sneads Ferry. They died just yards apart on North Topsail Beach.

“Someone just came up to us on the beach, and she got stabbed and her husband got stabbed,” a woman caller told 911 that night.

Witnesses said a third victim, Bekka Shellhammer, was taken from the scene with knife wounds she apparently suffered trying to break up a fight between the men. Investigators, though, have not commented on her involvement.

“She came up saying her husband has been stabbed and that he’s dead,” the caller told 911. “We don’t know if maybe she has a knife and maybe she stabbed him, but we don’t know what’s going on. We’re literally talking to her through the door now.”

Neither Robert Shellhammer nor Stewart were strangers to life outside of the law. Court records show that Shellhammer was convicted in 2003 on felony charges of indecent liberties with a child and assault on a child. Stewart was convicted on drug charges in 2011, but people who knew him say he had cleaned up his act.

His stepfather described the shock his family received when they got the news.

“When you’re awakened at 5 o’clock in the morning and they’re asking you questions but not telling you anything, it just hurts,” Christopher White said.

Police say their investigation continues, but that they are not looking for any suspects.


  • An old old friend says:

    This whole story makes my heart very sad! I knew Chris and he was LOVED by all. I can rememeber so many times together! He had a way of making you LAUGH beyond belief!! He was a kind and good-hearted SOUL! I know his soul was good and so does the Lord!! You will be missed Chris!!

  • Guesty101 says:

    To pay a lawyer to keep them from serving time why else?? Apparently you don’t know very much about the area if you think there’s no drug dealers in Sneads Ferry!

  • Guest5555 says:

    Who cares. Do you realize how many shady people are in Sneads Ferry, Surf City, and Hampstead? People there get ratted on, they find out who ratted them out and they stay friends with each other.

  • bb says:

    Those females taking pictures are seriously disturbed. What the hell is wrong with this world? Your disgusting and for all of you running your mouth giving your two cents about the guys involved if you didn’t know them personally shut the hell up. Only God can judge and if your saying a drug charge is a horrific thing…. Then you must not of ever sinned? A drug charge two years ago from someone who was, I’m sure loved by hundreds more people them most of you will ever be even slightly liked by is not horrible. Most of you inhuman people need to find a hobby and get a life. You didn’t even know these folks and your up here commenting & judging meanwhile the skeletons in your closet are tucked away and hid from the world. Just remember what you say and how you treat folks will come back to bit you in the butt and all of your indiscretions will one day be blasted for the world to see and I hope your given the same amount of decency you’ve shown the families of these two men.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    paying a lawyer now does no good. Your post merely stated they had to pay money.

    The link you provided certainly takes one to a leading publication. Odd it never appears more often.

  • kzpony says:

    Agreed, thanks for clarifying. While I understand that Haz-mat teams can’t be called out from a finger cut or from the mouth of a fish, this massive amount left behind should have been properly disposed of after the crime scene investigators did their job.

  • michael king says:

    Knew the kid for almost 20 years. I agree he would give you the shirt off his back. I knew him very well. The whole thing is tragic. Sure there’s s lot more to this story. He was a great friend and will be surely missed. Shame the way some of y’all cast stones. He was so funny and Just an overall happy dude.

    Condolences to the family.
    RIP Chris- see you on the other side man

    Michael king
    Clinton nc

  • BFBW says:

    It is so sad that these Family Members are Mourning the loss of their love ones and people get up here bashing them !!! As I recall nobody is is perfect !!!! Except GOD !!! It seems that people have forgotten the word RESPECT !!! Just a little reminder of what it means !!! To show consideration and Courtesy to others !!!! Just remember you want there and neither was I !!!! Show some RESPECT people to these families !!!! I am so thankful for being taught that if you can’t say something nice then dont say anything at all !!!!!

  • RSimmons says:

    What is that ghoulish behavior all about? You all got some creepy people up there in Top Sail!

  • gary ashcraft says:

    I can’t believe what I have just read even the people that have done there best to be simpathetic about this situation should pick up a bible . My record is pretty long, and nothing I’m proud of but you people should all be ashamed . I have more compassion than most of what I’ve read.

    To all the family members left behind. I will start a chain prayer for you.
    And for all the other people . I will say a prayer for you to

  • The Shadow Knows says:

    The Shadow knows those two guys didn’t kill each other, so does the coroner – read his report. The attacker stabbed and wounded his victim, who in turn took away the knife and killed the attacker with it. The wounded “victim, come killer” staggered away from the scene, collapsed, and then had his neck slit by a third party. Now who could that have been? Time to call in the SBI.

  • vacationer says:

    I can assure you the females taking pictures are not disturbed. The pictures were taken (to use if needed) to address with the appropriate officials, that it IS NOT OKAY to leave a crime scene scattered with human blood especially when it is on a public beach! The blood was not limited to the one small area as seen on TV, it was spread along the beach for about 50 yards. One large area was right where we had chosen to sit on the beach throughout the week. Being in the law enforcement community and working in the court system as the custodian of evidence admitted in court, EXTREME caution is used by all to keep biohazard materials SEALED so as not to touch items with human blood on them. Of all the law enforcement agencies I work with, none of them have ever left a scene in this way where the public could come in contact with human blood. They have always made arrangements to have the scene cleaned of human blood once all investigation was complete. Pictures were made in hopes that they could be used as a learning tool for the NTB Police Dept. and the NTB Public Works Dept. I would venture to guess that the NTB Police Dept. and Public Works Dept. have never had an incident like this before and are not even aware that it’s NOT OKAY to leave a scene like that, especially when its a PUBLIC beach and will have lots of people walking and lying on and kids playing in that sand. I had hoped however, that common sense would have prevailed, but apparently that didn’t happen. When I did address this matter with the NTB Police, they directed me to the Public Works Dept. Their answer was to send out a guy with a shovel to mix the bloody sand in with the rest of the sand. When I contacted Public Works back to ask them about that process, I was told that they were not allowed to remove sand from the beach and that was what they did when an animal/fish blood was found on the beach. I would think sand covered in HUMAN blood would be different. I for one, do not want to walk or sit on sand scattered with human blood nor would I want my (or anyone else’s) children to walk or play on bloody sand.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …tell us all how you REALLY feel!

  • Guest4u says:

    my point excactly….who does that? I mean do they plan on keeping it for rememberance? Plan on showing the kids so they will “know” who daddy was? Sounds like some people need to find a more creative hobby.

  • Guesty101 says:

    Law enforcement sources said that the two men were confidential informants for local authorities. It’s also being reported that one of them was about to serve prison time in a few weeks if they couldn’t come up with a large sum of money or produce some “valuable” info for LE. The local Sneads Ferry drug dealrs and others are now scrammbling around wondering their names were dropped. – Way more to this story than is being reported!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    you started it; now finish it.

    One was to go to jail if “They” did not come up with a large sum of money. Why would “they” have to come up with the money? And payable to whom?

    What type of valuable information?

    And, whom was to go to jail?

    And why would the wife have been on the beach?

    “Local Sneads Ferry Drug Dealers”? Are you serious? Do they all live in North Shore? I can only think of 3 or 4 in Sneads Ferry who might qualify; and they are intelligent enough to have alibis and distance themselves from actual drug transactions.

    And law enforcement officials are never going to disclose the identity of an informant, even if deceased.

    Why cloud the issue?

  • guesty says:

    But you are not me and the above posting is not by me.

  • Tim taborcity says:

    Please all let’s take 1 minute to say a little prayer for the
    Ones lost to us, to the ones who caused this that they may come
    Forward and ask for forgiveness and one for the family’s that have lost
    These two very young men. AMEM

  • Guest2020 says:

    You sound a great deal like Pat Robertson. And like Robertson, you do Christians a disservice when you make statements like that. You exhibit “poor use of freewill” when you throw compassion out the window and again with your lack of discernment.

  • NB says:

    All of you “church goers” are the same. Hypocritical, judgmental, and arrogant. Maybe The Lord will strike you down for being so inhuman and unsympathetic.

  • PeterPump says:

    Yes, a browse of the NC DEPT of CORRECTIONs indicates that these were no honest, churchgoing men. Rather these men were demonic: Mr. Shellhammer is a convicted Felon who has a penchant for sexual abuse of children, and his partner in death, Mr. Stewart, is a convicted drug dealer. Perhaps the Lord struck them down due to their poor use of freewill and their causing harm to others.

  • Guest5555 says:

    Really?? you must be a church going person. hypocritical church going person. Let God be the judge not you. I only knew Chris and he was a great guy. Your comments do not hurt the ones that have passed but the family and friends. Be considerate!

  • Shellhammer Family Member says:

    I am a family member of Buddy (Robert C. Shellhammer IV), he was not the trash he has been made out to be! He was a good man that did actually attend church and did what he could for his family and in no way deserved to die the way he did. The charge which he already SERVED his time for was because he was in a relationship with a girl who lied to him and said she was 18 but was only 15 & 1/2. At that time Buddy was 20 and had no reason to believe the girl he loved had been lying to him. The charges came about when the girl’s mother found out about the relationship. as soon as Buddy was informed the girl he thought was a woman was actually a child he ended the relationship. The girl openly admitted it was a mutual relationship and that is why the charge was indecent liberties with a child not child molestation. I also know a person who was charged as a sex offender b/c she sent a nude pic to the wrong number by accident and a minor received it so although I believe child molestation is one of the most heinous crimes someone can commit, not all people on the offender’s list truly belong there by way of intent. I do not personally know the Stewart man who died, but the fact he is a convicted drug dealer doesn’t make him trash either. For all you or I know he may have been busted with possession of drugs intended for personal use but in separate bags/containers and got the charge on a technicality. Unless you can personally contest to a person’s character you should not comment at all, and there is no reason to slander the dead anyways if they didn’t pay for their sins in life they certainty will after death.

  • shadow says:

    Peterpump, what a name – you sound like a thug to me! Maybe you should have had your peterpump on and been at the beach that night so you could have been involved.
    I could careless about how you feel about Chris, anyone with a name like peterpump, give me a break- you need a pump to pump you private, lol!
    You make me sick – you are real joke, how dare you talk your smack or your crack you smoke!
    You are a piece of work, hey, maybe you were getting some of the hoghead too! Jealousy!!!

  • Guest564 says:

    All i have heard is how this Chris was a great guy! I didn’t know him i won’t talk bad about him. but there is more than one side to this story and i can tell you it WAS NOT over a woman there was not a love triangle! Robert was one of the nicest people you could ever know very generous and a Good husband and a wonderful father. People need to stop speculating and let the police do their job

  • SurfCityTom says:

    You did not know him; but you can tell us all about him?

    Do you use a crystal ball or read tea leaves?

  • Guest 2349 says:

    All her fault? Just like Eve tempted Adam into eating the apple? For all that is sacred please get your head out of your a## and your face out of the bible….have you ever learned you cant believe everything you read? In the bible’s case ANYTHING you read………….

  • SurfCityTom says:

    from your anal opening and learn to read. Nowhere did I state all of the blame should be placed at the woman’s feet. She certainly had some responsibility as she was a part of a lover’s triangle. The 2 males deserved credit for stupidity and the lack of maturity or inability to walk away from the confrontation.

    For the record, where did I make any religious reference or refer to the Bible?

    Clearly, you have proven, once again, it is better to remain silent and appear the fool then to speak and remove all doubt.

  • craig says:

    Sad very sad. I knew they would be young at least from my point of view. I may be wrong but it seems there has been a lot of violence in the area this summer. I hope and pray thins change soon.

  • Guestsfndi says:

    Cant say much about these 2 among other things, Shellhammer is a registered sex offender INDECENT LIBERTY W/CHILD, Stewart DEL/SELL SCHEDULE II.

  • Guest5555 says:

    From your comment theres not much to say about you. Chris was a great guy and I’m sure you do not know the whole story. This is a horrible situation and no one will ever know the whole situation. I am sure you are perfect wait no you are judgemental.

  • GuestUSMC says:

    Two thugs get into a fight and kill each other. No expensive police work, no warrants or arrests, no trial, no attorneys……all’s well that ends well.

  • The Shadow Knows says:

    Read the Coroner’s report. It appears that only one guy was capable of killing the other, but he then died of a slit throat. Only extensive police work, a warrant, an arrest and a trial will explain how that could have happened.

  • Guest784 says:

    Chris was not a great guy, but rather was a criminal who was convicted in 2011 of drug dealing. In 2004 he was convicted for damage to property. Those are facts. “Fraternal Correction” is very important, and I ask you, sir, why did you not demand Chris cease his evil ways.

  • Guest0700 says:

    Well said! Chris was a great guy that will be missed by many!

  • disgusted guest says:

    Chris was in fact a great guy. Not perfect like you must be, but a great guy who was loved by many. He left behind family and many friends who are in mourning. Your lack of respect for those family members and friends as well as his memory is nothing but a disgrace. Shame on you.

  • Guest5555 says:

    Its not sir, its mam… this does sadden me, but you don’t know what happened. Chris was not evil. He was not perfect but who is? or do you have another fact to tell me about you and how perfect you are? I know his brother, his mother, and step father and they are just as great as he was. Be considerate you fool!!!

  • Guest fhyfh says:

    I knew Chris, and he was NOT a great guy. Far from it. He was an abusive, manipulative sociopath. He was violent, arrogant, and ignorant. I’m sorry he’s gone, but I’m not surprised at all. And if you REALLY knew the guy, you’d agree

  • Guest5555 says:

    No I knew him well and feel the opposite. He would have done anything if I needed it. We appreciate your opinion though.

  • Bfbw says:

    It is so sad that these Familes are Mourning the life of there Family Members and People are up here Bashing them !!! As I recall I don’t think anyone is perfect !!! Except tGod !!! I was always taught if you can’t say something nice then you don’t need to say anything !!! I want there to see what happened!! But just remember you want either !!! I think people can’t remember the word Respect!!!! As I recall the word respect means : To show consideration and Courtesy!!!

  • disgusted guest says:

    Anyone who knew Chris would never describe him as you did. But your lack of class and disrespect is proof enough of your ignorance.

  • twin says:

    excuse me, but i want even allow u to get me upset with ur comments..but Chris was not a evil guy he was very loving… so if u have nothing good to say then dn’t say anything at all.. thanks u

  • william patten says:

    None of you must have really known the real chris cause he was an amazing guy and would give anyone the shirt off his back so before you talk crap because of his past you should learn who the real person is.

    william patten

  • SurfCityTom says:

    I mean no disrespect to the departed. You evidently knew one side of his personna. For those who did not know him; had never met him, the only knowledge they could have now is his record, which is cloudy.

    Having said that, it is unfortunate others do not consider the feelings of the survivors.

    On another note, it is unfortunate 2 individuals had to die in part due to a woman’s inability to remain loyal to her new husband or to be honest with both; make a choice; and move on with life. From reports, she did neither and allowed her husband to remain in the dark. Whether your friend knew she was married is something only she knows now.

    To lose a life defending your spouse or loved ones is commendable and heroic. To lose your life over a jilted or spurned spouse is sad.

  • Tracie C says:

    What an “amazing” man you must be to end up in a knife fight over a female on the beach!

  • Guest444 says:

    I feel bad for the people that are left behind.
    But the truth is “why die to a Beat It video”?

    These guys for sure had problems! But who

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