Search continues for man after shop owner killed

by: Greg Suskin Updated:

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ALBEMARLE, N.C. - Albemarle police and SBI agents were going door to door Friday, pushing for any information in the murder of a well-known businessman and former city employee.

The city may lower flags to half-staff next week to honor 81-year-old Roger Gibson. Gibson was shot and killed inside his rare coin shop on Concord Road near downtown Albemarle Thursday afternoon.

"He was a nice guy, very nice guy. Always talked about his coins," said Richard Honeycutt, who runs a garage across the street from the tiny cinder block coin shop.

"For him to retire, then end up that way, it's just terrible," he said.

Police gave Channel 9 surveillance video taken from a plumbing business behind B and G Coins. It shows a man walking into the store, then walking back out 20 minutes later carrying two bags. The man gets into Gibson's white F-150 pickup truck, and drives away. Gibson was found seriously injured, and he later died at the hospital. Police have not detailed a motive, or said if anything was missing from the shop, which sold rare coins, baseball cards, and other collectibles.

"He'd always wave at you, and talk to us from his shop," said Mary Eudy, who lives right behind the store on Love Street.

On Thursday, Eudy and her daughter Heather were walking by the store when police officers pulled over a car nearby. Gibson poked his head out of the store and asked them if anyone was getting arrested. Mary Eudy told him that it didn't look like it.

"He said, well somebody will probably get arrested tonight, and we said, yeah, with it being Halloween," she said.

When mother and daughter came by again only hours later, they found a crime scene, and the small shop surrounded with yellow tape.

"I just can't believe we'd just talked to him, and then he was murdered. That's so sad," Heather Eudy said.

B and G Coins was only open Wednesday through Friday, and only for a few hours a day. Friends said it was a hobby for Gibson, who worked as a mechanic at the city water treatment plant from 1972 until he retired in 1997.

Neighbors like Honeycutt saw Gibson every time he opened his coin shop. He said Gibson kept a gun in his store, but he must not have been able to reach it in time.

"I guess you need some protection for your own self, and Mr. Gibson had it. Guess he just didn't get a chance to use it," he said.

Channel 9 went by Gibson's home on Friday, but family members did not want to comment.

Albemarle police have not said whether they think Gibson knew the suspect, but neighbors said he usually kept his door locked unless he recognized you, or expected a customer.

Police are still looking for Gibson's truck, a white F -150 regular cab with chrome wheels that left the scene. The North Carolina tag number is ZRT-3645.

You're asked to call police with any information at 704-984-9500.