Man shot, found lying in road in Thomasville has died; man identified

THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- A man found shot and lying in a roadway in Thomasville has died.

Robert Allen Smith, 59, of Thomasville, was found early Friday lying in the street in the 200 block of Church Street.

A driver found Smith around 2:30 a.m. and called 911, thinking Smith may have been the victim of a hit-and-run.

When officers got there, they discovered Smith had been shot. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Detectives spent several hours canvassing the neighborhood and questioning neighbors. They also executed a search warrant for an apartment on Church Street, where police say Smith was last seen alive.

Police say Smith was shot at or near the apartment. They think he walked down the sidewalk, before collapsing in the road.

FOX8 talked to Smith's mother just hours after his death. She's finding comfort in her friends, family and faith.

“I have a lot of memories of him, that’s for sure," said Sarah Smith-Love, Smith's mom.

Smith-Love spent Friday afternoon surrounded by loved ones on her porch. They remembered Smith with laughter, but she's also dwelling on the morning's confusion and horror.

“I was in bed, and I got the call. The first call was that he had been hit by a car," she said.

Fifteen minutes later, a second call came in.

"It said no, the policemen are there, and they said it's as a gunshot," Smith-Love said.

Then, a third call.

“They were on the way to the hospital, and they didn’t think he was breathing," Smith-Love said.

She rushed to the hospital, but she didn't get to say goodbye.

“The Lord was just with me," she said. "I couldn’t really cry. I just felt water coming down my cheek.”

Smith-Love couldn't put into words what it feels like to lose a child to gun violence.

“It’s cruel, yeah," she said.

She isn't sure why her son was at the Church Street apartment or why he didn't call for help.

“I think he was trying to walk home," she said.

But she has faith the police will find Smith's killer.

“Like I say, I’m just trusting in the Lord," Smith-Love said. "It will be known what happened one day. I may not be here to see it, but somebody’s going to know something.”

Police are waiting on the results of Smith's autopsy from Friday afternoon. They haven't named any suspects in this case.

Smith's death marks the second homicide in Thomasville this year.

Anyone having any information is encouraged to call police at (336) 475-7755 or Crime Stoppers at (336) 476-8477.