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Police identify men killed at North Topsail Beach, keep other details quiet


NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Police in North Topsail Beach are still not saying much about what led to the deaths of two men on the beach Thursday night, but we do finally know who the men were and about their troubles with the law in the past.

Robert Clinton Shellhammer IV and Christopher William Stewart, both 31, lived just a few miles from one another in Sneads Ferry. They died just yards apart Thursday night on North Topsail Beach.

“Someone just came up to us on the beach, and she got stabbed and her husband got stabbed,” a woman caller told 911 Thursday night.

Witnesses say a third victim, Bekka Shellhammer, was taken from the scene with knife wounds she apparently suffered trying to break up a fight between the men. Investigators, though, will not comment on her involvement.

“She came up saying her husband has been stabbed and that he’s dead,” the caller told 911. “We don’t know if maybe she has a knife and maybe she stabbed him, but we don’t know what’s going on. We’re literally talking to her through the door now.”

Neither Robert Shellhammer nor Stewart were strangers to life outside of the law. Court records show that Shellhammer was convicted in 2003 on felony charges of indecent liberties with a child and assault on a child. Stewart was convicted on drug charges in 2011, but people who knew him say he had cleaned up his act.

His stepfather described the shock his family received when they got the news.

“When you’re awakened at 5 o’clock in the morning and they’re asking you questions but not telling you anything, it just hurts,” Christopher White said.

Police continue to say that their investigation continues, but that they are not looking for any suspects.

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