Sheriff: 80-year-old died from gunshot wound; looking for person of interest

by: Tina Terry, Gina Esposito, Dave Faherty Updated:

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STATESVILLE, N.C. - Iredell County sheriff revealed Thursday that an 80-year-old man died from a gunshot wound.

[PHOTOS: Death investigation in Iredell County]

Deputies said they received a dropped 911 call Tuesday night from a cellphone inside a home on Shiloh Road in Statesville.

Law enforcement responded to the home after several attempts to contact the caller were unsuccessful. When deputies arrived, they entered through a broken glass door on the side of the house and found the body of Hugh Lee Moose.

Investigators were on the scene, collecting evidence at the home until 6 a.m. Wednesday. The sheriff said additional investigators returned with search warrants later in the morning.

Officials told Channel 9 that Moose lived alone at the home.

No arrests have been made.

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said investigators are desperate to find answers.

"Several interviews have been conducted with different people, family members and things of that nature, but right now we are just really, the biggest thing right now, is that we are asking for information," Campbell said.

There was damage to a sliding glass door of Moose’s home.

A witness who was in her van across the street from the home, spotted a large man with a beard inside Moose's kitchen. 

Employees were back on the job Thursday because he would want it that way.

"He was the first one here and the last to leave,” employee Keith Waugh said. “Just a good man. Help you anyway he wanted to. He'd give you the shirt off his back if you asked

"It scares the fool out of me really, because we live some close,” neighbor Ruby Ervin said.

Eyewitness News reporter Tina Terry spoke with the victim's granddaughter Wednesday, who also wants answers.

Krystal Moose said her grandfather was the type of man who would do anything to help his family.

“I already miss him a lot,” she said.

She said her grandfather would do anything for her.

"He wanted to take care of his family and the people around him,” Krystal Moose said.

She told Channel 9 that her grandfather owned a local business, Hugh's Sheet Metal, for years and was well-known in the community. She said his wife of nearly 60 years is devastated.

"Our family deserves that peace of mind, and my grandfather deserves the justice,” Krystal said.

The sheriff's office said it has received many tips in the case, but they're still putting together a better timeline.

Deputies are searching for a person of interest in the case who was seen in the area between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. He is described as a white man between the age of 25 to 35, standing 5 feet 10 inches tall, clean-shaven with sandy blonde hair. He was wearing a light-colored Carhartt overalls and a dark backpack, officials said.

Deputies think Moose was killed around 7 p.m. and were checking surveillance video from the area.

They are asking anyone who saw suspicious activity near the home to call 704-928-9804.

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