ALBEMARLE — In the worst incidence of violence in the county this year, a gruesome shooting on Canton Road southwest of Albemarle left three members of a family deceased and one seriously injured. According to county officials, Donnie Furr, 74, a local man, killed his wife and daughter, and attempted to kill his grandson, before turning the gun on himself.
Law enforcement first learned of the shooting, which took place Thursday, July 25, when Cameron Cagle, Furr’s 24-year-old grandson, stumbled injured to a neighbor’s house seeking help. Cagle was rushed to the hospital as investigators began determining what had occurred.
Capt. Chris Huneycutt of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office told SCJ there was no history of domestic disputes at this address, and that “I would very much categorize it as out of the blue.” He said often cases like this are a repeated situation that escalates over time, but there was no evidence of that here.
Stanly County district attorney Lynn Clodfelter told SCJ it was unclear what the altercation was about, but they could determine that Cagle was “not in any way responsible.”
Huneycutt agreed, saying that despite some early rumors that the sole survivor of the incident was the shooter, Cagle was entirely a victim.
“I want to be sure we’re clear that Cameron is a victim in all this and bears no responsibility for what happened,” Huneycutt said. “There are a lot of rumors circulating that he is actually the offender. I think I owe it to my victim to correct that.”
After the investigation showed that his grandfather, Donnie Furr, was in fact the shooter, the sheriff’s office sat down with the district attorney on Friday, July 26. After presenting all their findings, the district attorney agreed with investigators’ conclusion that it was a murder-suicide committed by Donnie Furr.
In circumstances where the offender is deceased, involvement of the district attorney’s office is more limited.
“We reviewed the evidence with the sheriff and the detectives. And based on the evidence, we’re satisfied that Mr. Furr was the one who committed the crime, so no charges were brought since there is nobody to bring charges against,” Clodfelter said.
He also said that Cagle gave an account of what he witnessed, and that “his account was corroborated by the detectives’ investigation.”
In addition to Cameron Cagle, who survived, the remaining victims are his mother, Paula Jo Furr, 54, and his grandmother, Elaine Burleson Furr, 76, both found deceased at the scene.
“The grandson was actually shot twice and was rushed to the hospital and went into surgery,” Clodfelter said.
“He underwent surgery, and as of last night, he is listed in stable condition,” Huneycutt said on Friday, July 26. “He is not in a very good emotional state after witnessing and being a victim of this shooting. He went through more than someone should have to go through as a 24-year-old man.”
Both the sheriff’s office and the district attorney said this case is very unusual for Stanly County.
“Off the top of my head, I couldn’t even tell you the last time something like this has happened because I can’t even think of when a similar thing did happen,” said Clodfelter.
As of Tuesday, July 30, Huneycutt said Cagle has not begun to make any funeral arrangements for his deceased relatives. Huneycutt also said he is unaware of any fund or community support effort for Cagle upon his release from the hospital.