No foul play found in fatal shooting


DOBSON — The fatal shooting of an elderly Surry County man earlier this year involved no criminal activity, according to Sheriff Graham Atkinson.

“There is nothing that indicated any foul play,” Atkinson said this week of an investigation into the death of Donald Gray Hall, 83, who resided on Pebble Lane, Dobson, in southern Surry.

Hall suffered a gunshot wound to the head inside his residence on Jan. 13 and was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he died the next day.

The shooting initially was reported as self-inflicted, but the case had remained open in the months since, with officials making no final determination as to whether a suicide or criminal act was involved.

One major holdup for such a ruling was a delay in testing of forensics evidence recovered from the scene of the shooting, where three other family members were present at the time, authorities have said.

That evidence was sent to a State Bureau of Investigation lab for evaluation, a facility where backlogs have been common.

It can take a year or more to get test results back, the sheriff said.

But the investigation shows Hall’s death did not involve a criminal act.

“There is nothing at this point to indicate any foul play,” Atkinson repeated this week.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

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