Salisbury Police looking for a man wanted in Shawn Spry murder

Published 8:47 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

SALISBURY — Salisbury authorities say they are looking for a man wanted in the murder of 22-year-old Shawn Spry, who was found dead Monday outside a South Link Avenue apartment complex with a gunshot wound.

Police say Joseph William Whitmire, 24, also known as Joey Portis, is wanted for murder and common law robbery. Whitmire’s last known address was 215 Kress Venture Road, China Grove.

According to police, Spry’s mother, Tomasa Furr, his sister and his girlfriend, Hayley Head, reported him missing about 8 a.m. Monday. A few hours later officers were called to 210 South Link Avenue after an unconscious man was found lying in the yard.

Spry had an apparent gunshot wound. Police have since that time released few details as to the motive.

Friends said Spry was a loyal, caring person who always had a smile on his face.

He was not affiliated with any gang activity.

Rowan County Sheriff’s detectives assisted in the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this suspect is asked to contact Lt. Beam at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. Tips may be submitted online at