GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV/AP) - There are new details surfacing about a man and woman who were in the company of a serial killer when he was shot and killed by police officers in Gaston County early Monday morning.
Police say Mark Stamey, 35, and Sharon Stamey, 31, met Patrick Burris about two weeks ago. They claim they didn't know about the five murders in Cherokee County, SC, in which authorities said Burris committed.
According to police, the Stamey siblings met Burris at a hotel late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
He drove them in his SUV to an abandoned house on Dallas Spencer Mountain Road and they arrived around 2 a.m. The house belonged to one of the parents of the Stamey siblings.
Mike and Terri Valentine, who live near the dilapidated house, saw Burris backing his SUV into the shed but he didn't immediately got out of the vehicle.
The Valentines thought it might be burglar who was casing out the neighborhood and they immediately called the Gaston County Police.
The couple was also on alert after hearing recent media reports about a serial killer on the loose in nearby Cherokee County who murdered five people in less than six days.
When officers arrived, they found Burris along with Mark and Sharon Stamey.
The siblings were known to hang out at the old house on occasions and were described by police as transients.
While questioning Burris inside the house, the officers discovered there was an outstanding parol violation issued against Burris in Lincoln County.
Burris fired a shot at the officers and injured one of them in the thigh. The injured officer and another cop returned fire. Burris died at the scene.
Late Monday evening, officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed that Burris was the man responsible for the murders in Cherokee County, SC.
The first killing involved peach farmer Kline Cash, 63, who was found dead on June 27.
Four days later, 83-year-old Hazel Linder and her daughter, 50-year-old Gena Linder Parker, were found bound and shot to death in the older woman's home.
On Thursday, Stephen Tyler and his 15-year-old daughter Abby were shot in their family's furniture store in Gaffney.
According to court records, Burris was a career criminal and he was just released in April from a North Carolina prison where he had been for nearly the last eight years.
His rap sheet included convictions in Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland for charges including larceny, forgery, and breaking and entering.
Court records show the Stameys had also recently been trouble with the law.
Mark Stamey was arrested on June 5, 2008, in Gaston County. He was charged with possession of stolen property and false pretense. He was released on the same day on an unsecured $50,000 bond.