Woman shot, killed by man in parking lot of Thomasville grocery store; man later killed self, police say

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Police say the deaths of two people in Davidson County are related following a grocery store shooting in Thomasville on Monday.

The Thomasville Police Department responded to the Cedar Lodge Market at 234 Cedar Lodge Road on Monday at 10:03 a.m. when they were told that someone had been shot. 

When they arrived, officers found Della Leann Elberson, 48, of Thomasville, unresponsive in the northeast parking lot of 234 Cedar Lodge Road.

A preliminary investigation indicated Elberson was an employee of the Cedar Lodge Market and
had walked outside to talk to Robert William Stanford, 71, of Lexington, who she reportedly knew. 

While speaking to Elberson in the parking lot, Stanford shot Elberson with a handgun, police say.

After shooting her, Stanford left the scene in his 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.

Elberson was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Davidson County Medical Examiner.

Through further investigation at the crime scene, detectives were able to identify Stanford as the lone shooter of Elberson and were also able to find out his known residence address on Mountain View Court in Lexington. 

Officers arrived at the address at 12:02 p.m. on Monday.

Deputies with the Davidson County Sheriffs Department encountered Stanford in the driveway of the residence.

While they were trying to talk to him, Stanford shot himself with a handgun, the release says. 

The Davidson County Medical Examiner declared Stanford deceased at the scene.

This investigation remains active as detectives continue to investigate the motive involved in
the homicide of Della Leann Elberson by Robert William Stanford.

The Thomasville Police Department at this time is not pursuing any further suspect or suspects involved in this incident, and no public threat of concern or caution advisories are in effect at this time.

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