Man charged with killing stepfather, stabbing mother

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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Shelby, NC —

A 21-year-old Shelby man is charged with killing his stepfather and stabbing his own mother after a dispute over a car.

Deputies said Matthew Safrit was spending Friday afternoon at his girlfriend's home on Sam Lattimore Road. Safrit had driven to the trailer in his parents' car.

Investigators say Safrit's parents decided to stop by and pick up their car, and that's when an argument broke out in the front yard.

Officers said Safrit stabbed his mother and shot his stepfather to death. Safrit's mother suffered only minor injuries, and was seen on scene talking with investigators after the attack.

Deputies said Safrit ran and hid in the woods. A police dog tracked him down, and deputies said Safrit even attacked the dog when he was spotted.

"I'm nervous, I'm very upset. Right now I just don't know what to think," said Tracy Cody, the mother of the young woman Safrit had been dating.

Cody said her 26-year-old daughter, Natalie, had been dating Safrit for the last two months.

"It shocks me. She's in a safe place right now, she and my granddaughters are in a safe place right now," Cody said. 

Deputies have charged Safrit with murder, assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a law-enforcement animal.

"We're asking why? It could have been as simple as the suspect giving the keys back and turning around and walking away," said Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman.