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Third man charged with murder over alleged Salt Ash fatal shooting

A third man has been charged with murder over his alleged involvement in a fatal shooting in NSW that is believed to be a drug deal gone wrong.

Emergency services were called to a car crash involving a Ford Ranger utility on Hideaway Drive in Salt Ash on August 29, but instead found Tanilba Bay man David King dead from a gunshot wound.

Police believe the alleged murder was a drug dispute, with detectives earlier investigating whether the 45-year-old was shot by a passenger while driving, causing him to crash.

Following the discovery of Mr King’s body, police found a burnt-out white Santa Fe in the nearby town of Heatherbrae, which police believe was allegedly linked to the shooting.

“Early investigations indicate a male with a firearm left that vehicle and, nearby, a white (Hyundai) Santa Fe was seen to collect that person with other people and drive from that location,” Superintendent Chad Gillies from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District said at the time.

Supplied Editorial Fwd: A Santa Fe on fire off Masonite Road at Heatherbrae. Strike
 Force Breve have released vision of the fire as they investigate the murder
 of David King at Salt Ash. Picture: NSW Police.
Camera IconVision has been released of the car fire. NSW Police Credit: Supplied

Two men, aged 27 and 39, were arrested and charged in connection to the shooting on November 5.

A 26-year-old man was then arrested on Friday morning.

He has been charged with murder, taking a person in company to obtain advantage, possessing a shortened firearm without authority and aggravated sex assault in company.

The man faced Grafton Local Court and was refused bail.

He will appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court on December 20.

Police will allege that after shooting Mr King, the men fled the scene in the white Santa Fe, where the 26-year-old man allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the car.

The car was then allegedly set on fire and destroyed.

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