Burke Co murder suspect appears in court, 911 call released

911 calls released after deadly shooting in Connelly Springs

MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) - Andrew Smith calmly answered basic questions from a judge in Morganton on Wednesday as he had his first appearance in court since being charged with murder on Monday.

Smith is accused of shooting and killing Lawrence McGee who was driving a four wheeler early Monday morning. He claims it was self defense.

When he was first charged he told WBTV news that the four wheeler was driven at him and his friends. Two people were hit before Smith pulled out a handgun and fired at the driver. In 911 calls Smith can be heard telling the 911 center that the four wheeler had ‘Literally drove straight at us.’

He explained to the operator what happened. ‘A man run over all of my friends. He was trespassing on land and I have a concealed carry and I shot him.’ He can be heard saying he fired a warning shot into the air first. The operator asked how many total shots had been fired and Smith said ‘I think 8.’

Billy McGee, the victim’s brother, said he doesn’t believe the claim of self defense. ‘Self defense is one or two shots, anything other than that is excessive.’

James York, who owned the land where it all happened and who was with Smith thinks it was justified. York was hit by the four wheeler and says Smith’s actions, ‘Saved my life.’

Investigators are still looking into what happened. Sheriff Steve Whisenant on Monday said some evidence found at the scene points away from self defense. Smith will remain behind bars. His next court date is August 7.

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