NEWTON, N.C. — Authorities believe someone fatally shot a 40-year-old North Carolina man, then set his home on fire to cover up the crime.

Firefighters found Harry Bruner Jr. dead inside his burning home near Maiden about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid told local news outlets Tuesday the surprising autopsy results showed Bruner died from a single gunshot, not the fire.

According to a search warrant, firefighters found a can of possible accelerant near the kitchen stove.

Reid says officers are investigating whether it was a robbery. He says Bruner “had come into” a large amount of cash that’s missing.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.