The apparent shooting death of an eastern Wilkes County man is being investigated as a murder, said Wilkes County Sheriff Chris Shew.

Shew said Wilkes Sheriff’s Office deputies found James Leroy Conley, 53, lying on the ground and deceased from an apparent gunshot wound outside his home at 425 L & L Road in the Pleasant Hill community Sunday morning.

Shew said deputies went to the residence in response to a phone call made to the Wilkes Communications Center at 8:44 a.m. Sunday. He said no motive has been established yet but there are persons of interest and the investigation is continuing.

The Elkin Police Department responded to help secure the scene, said Shew, adding that the State Bureau of Investigation is assisting with the investigation

Wilkes Emergency Medical Services Director Tim Pennington said a Wilkes EMS crew was dispatched and found the subject of the call deceased.

Shew and other law enforcement officials were on the scene much of Sunday. He said he couldn’t release any more details at this point.

The home where Conley lived is in a residential area near the end of L & L Road, about a half mile from the Surry County line. The other end of the road intersects with C.B. Eller School Road about a half mile from C.B. Eller Elementary School.

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