Good Samaritan fatally shot by man he was trying to help in Catawba County

Jefferson Heavner
Jefferson Heavner

A Claremont man was in the Catawba County Jail on Saturday charged with murder after he allegedly fatally shot a good Samaritan who was trying to help him after his car spun out on an icy road in the Bandys community, Sheriff Coy Reid said.

The car driven by Marvin Jacob Lee, 27, of Claremont in northeastern Catawba County, was stuck off Mathis Church Road when a passing truck with three men stopped to help about 5:20 p.m. Friday, Reid said.

[UPDATE: Fund for Good Samaritan killed Friday continues to grow ]

[UPDATE: Family says Good Samaritan killed Friday was always there to help]

Nearby neighbors came to help, too.

But when Lee allegedly became belligerant, the Samaritans decided to call police to come help him. “They thought he was drunk or on dope and said ‘let’s just call the law and let them deal with it,’ ” Reid said.

As they called, Lee took out an automatic pistol and started shooting. The Samaritans ran. A bullet struck the victim, who fell. Reid said Lee walked to the man, stood over him and shot him “numerous times.” Reid identified the victim as Jefferson Heavner, 26, of Newton.

Lee returned to his car, as deputies arrived. They shouted for him to get out. When he didn’t, they called a SWAT team, which pulled their armored truck up to Lee’s car. “They saw that he was passed out,” Reid said.

SWAT members physically pulled Lee from his car. He awoke as they struggled to pull him out and tried to resist, Reid said.