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Gunshot victim dies after found behind wheel of car

Albemarle police are investigating a fatal shooting that was first believed to be a drug overdose.

At 5:42 p.m. Saturday police responded to 1110 Walnut St. to a possible gunshot wound. Another call reported a possible overdose. At the scene, police and medics found a man unconscious behind the wheel of a 2012 gray Hyundai crashed against a tree in the yard of the Walnut Street residence near Hill Street, according to Albemarle police Capt. David Dulin.

Medics began treating the victim, who showed signs of life, as an overdose victim. After they administered Narcan, first responders noticed the victim had been shot in the torso, Dulin said.

“There was no obvious blood when they first began treating the victim,” Dulin said. “Once they cut off his shirt off, they found he had been shot. They began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and tried to revive him.”

Brian Milek Smith, 21, of Concord, died at the scene from his injuries.

Although television media reports first called the crime a drive-by shooting, Dulin said that is not the case. Witnesses in the vicinity led police to believe the shooting occurred at the scene, but neither the victim nor the shooter reside at the residence where the crime occurred.

“We got some information from family and friends that we’re chasing,” Dulin said.

Albemarle police have also enlisted the help of the State Bureau of Investigation.

Dulin declined to reveal details about the gunshot wound, including where Smith was shot and how many times he was struck.

Police are also looking for information about a gray-colored Ford Crown Victoria that was observed near the scene.

If anyone has any information about the slaying, please call Albemarle police at 704-984-9500. Or, you can leave an anonymous tip at 704-984-9511.

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or ritchie.starnes@stanlynewspress.com.