Man shoots granddaughter-in-law before taking his own life, deputies say

Man shoots granddaughter-in-law before taking his own life, deputies say

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — Deputies are investigating an attempted murder-suicide over the weekend at a home in Caldwell County.

Officials said 77-year-old Robert Clontz got into an argument with his 36-year-old granddaughter-in-law, Sheba Clontz, and shot her in the face with a 20-gauge shotgun before taking his own life.

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The shooting happened Saturday afternoon in the yard of his home on Spears Road just south of Lenoir.

Several people who knew the elderly man told Channel 9's Dave Faherty they're shocked something like this happened.

“It’s terrible,” neighbor Samantha Pittman said. “The world is scary. We (saw) that they are church people, and they seem to be very nice.”

Sheba Clontz was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where she remains in critical condition.

“I was in shock, cause it’s not him,” said Amanda Messer, a waitress at the nearby Melissa and Friends Restaurant. “He’s a church going person. He’s nice. He’s quiet.”

Investigators told Channel 9 the shooting was the result of an argument over a child custody issue.

“We do have a lot of questions that will probably never be answered,” cook Stephanie Robinson said. “But we do take heart in knowing that he is with the Lord and our prayers -- and anything we can do for the family, we are here.”

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.