Montford Cove shooting called 'self-defense': Investigation into potential robbery continues


After an investigation by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office and collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office, there will be no criminal charges filed in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred on Thursday afternoon, July 25, authorities said Tuesday.

Between approximately 1-2:30 p.m. that day, Robert Eller, 39, of Nebo, was shot to death inside a vehicle on Montford Cove Road.

The vehicle belonged to Clay Lee Freeburg, 36, address listed as Lake Lure. On July 25, it is believed that Eller attempted to rob Freeburg while he was inside his own vehicle parked at the Montford Cove residence both men were visiting.

Authorities said the investigation determined that Freeburg defended himself and fatally shot Eller.

A replica handgun that looked identical to a real weapon belonging to Eller was found at the scene.

The shooting is believed to be drug related, according to the Tuesday news release.

An investigation into the robbery continues.

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