NEWPORT — The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred in a vehicle on Sam Hatcher Road and Nine Mile Road in Newport Friday.

According to a release from the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to do a welfare check at a residence located at 563 Gales Creek Road in Newport shortly after 5 a.m. Friday. When deputies arrived, they did not find anyone in the residence.

A short time later, deputies located a vehicle belonging to the homeowner parked on Sam Hatcher Road and Nine Mile Road.

Detectives said 55-year-old Mark Andrew Muench and his 79-year-old mother Catherine Howard Muench were found inside the vehicle with gunshot wounds to the head. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

“The driver of the vehicle was in possession of a handgun and a suicide note with an identification card that was attached to his chest,” Detective Sgt. Greg Mason said.

A preliminary investigation has revealed the act was a pre-planned murder-suicide and Ms. Muench was a willing participant. The scene indicated Mr. Muench shot his mother as she sat in the passenger seat and then turned the gun on himself.

The investigation is ongoing and no further details are available at this time.

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