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Woman dead, suspect in custody after Yancey County shooting

Fifty-six-year-old Allen James "Butch" Buttke, Jr. is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Sharon Nicklow. (Photo: WLOS staff)

Authorities say a suspect is in custody after a fatal shooting in Yancey County Tuesday night.

Fifty-six-year-old Allen James "Butch" Buttke, Jr. is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Sharon Nicklow.

Yancey County Sheriff Gary Banks said several guns were in the home, and that Nicklow was shot multiple times.

The shooting happened in the Bald Mountain community.

"This was a terrible situation," said Yancey County Sheriff Gary Banks. "Knowing the family for a long time, these were good people. They're really suffering during this period of time, and from what I understand, the victim was a wonderful person, who was well-loved in the community"

Buttke has been arrested. Sheriff Banks said at least five guns, including a handgun authorities say Buttke used to shoot and murder his longtime girlfriend, Nicklow, were taken from a mobile home.

Authorities say all the shots were at close range.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Sheriff Banks reflected on this latest murder, and the violent, intimate-partner crimes he's investigated during his career.

"Unfortunately, we get involved in too many domestic violence situations," he said. "Often the victims will not get out of the relationship, after the first, second, third, or even numerous (times) being the victim of domestic violence. Get out of the situation. Relationship is not meant to be violent, most of the time violence escalates, and this is what we see as a result."

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