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71-year-old man who was person of interest in shooting death kills himself

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A Surry County man who was a person of interest in the shooting death of another man was found dead Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Thursday.

Michael Patrick Alford, 71, of Golf Course Road near Pilot Mountain was questioned about the death of Vincent Lee Bray, 65. Bray was found dead and sitting on a lawn mower at 1:18 p.m. Monday in the 600 block of Golf Course Road, the Surry County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bray had been shot to death, the sheriff’s office said.

Alford was being interviewed Monday evening by investigators with the sheriff’s office and the State Bureau of Investigation when he abruptly ended the interview and walked away from the sheriff’s office in Dobson.

Alford was reported missing Tuesday to the sheriff’s office by his wife, the sheriff’s office said. His wife hadn’t spoken with Alford since he was interviewed at the sheriff’s office.

At 10:38 a.m. Wednesday, deputies responded to a call in the 400 block of Shoals Road in Pinnacle about a report of possible suicide, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies then found Alford dead in a field with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the sheriff’s office said.

The investigation is ongoing, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators have determined, however, that Bray and Alford had a history of disagreements dating back years.

336-727-7299 @jhintonWSJ

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