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Another Man Dead in Second Shooting in Avery County in Three Days

By Tim Gardner

Three days after one man died from a gunshot wound and two individuals were injured in an altercation in the Maple Street area of Crossnore on March 5, another man died from gunshot wounds in an unrelated incident on Monday afternoon, March 8, near the Pineola community.  Both Crossnore and Pineola are located in Avery County.

Avery County law enforcement responded to an emergency call on March 8 about a shooting on Pritchard Road, where they found a man who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds from a neighbor.

The victim was identified by Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye as Brian Smith, who was on his own property and only a short distance from the suspect’s residence when the incident happened. Frye said the victim was pronounced dead on the scene after resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

Law enforcement personnel arrested Edward Wayne Barnes, 39, for shooting Smith.  Barnes is incarcerated in the Avery County Jail under $1 million bond.

According to reports, the suspect was the one who called, saying he had shot his neighbor. Frye said Barnes was arrested him without incident. Frye added that a motive for the shooting is not known and is under investigation.

An autopsy has been performed on Smith and its results are pending, Frye added.