Cleveland County man fatally shoots suspect who attacked him outside of his home


CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — A Cleveland County man shot and killed a suspect who attacked him outside of his home in the early morning hours Wednesday. 

The Sheriff’s Office says they received a 911 call at 1:19 a.m. on March 5 about someone beating on the side of a home in Shelby. The owner of the home, Donald Bautista, grabbed his pistol went outside to see what was causing the noise.

Bautista said he saw someone run into the wood-line behind his home moments before he was attacked by a suspect holding a wooden deck railing. Bautista sustained several defensive wounds before he fired one shot, killing the suspect later identified as Robert Burns. 

Following an investigation, deputies found that Burns has been staying with friends in the same mobile home park as Bautista. Burns had an altercation with one of the friends and left the home shortly before the shooting. Witnesses say it appeared Burns was extremely impaired. 

Bautista did not know Burns prior to this incident. 

No charges have been filed at this time. The Sheriff’s Office is waiting on autopsy results from the State Medical Examiner’s Office. The case will then be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office to see if any charges will be filed. 

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