War veteran in critical condition after being shot by robbers

by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:

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ROCK HILL - Members of a Rock Hill family are pleading for information after their loved one was shot in his home early Saturday morning.

Police were called to the 4400 block of Gentry Lane on reports of a possible home invasion.  When officers arrived, they found a 69-year-old man shot inside his home.  He was airlifted to CMC main in Charlotte with life-threatening injuries. 

Family later identified the man as Wayne Whiteside and said he was listed in critical condition at the hospital as of Saturday evening.

Whiteside’s sister told Channel 9 two men broke into her brother’s home, tied him up, robbed and then shot him. 

Police have not yet identified any suspects or made any arrests. 

Whiteside’s family believes whoever committed the crime knew him, knew he lived alone and was also aware he was a disabled war veteran.

“I went through hurt and then I went through anger,” said Elaine Hollis, who is the victim’s sister. “He was a Marine and served two terms in Vietnam.  He lived and died the Marine Corps. That was his whole life.” 

But, his whole heart was his late wife, said Elaine.  Whiteside’s wife died two years ago.

Elaine said her brother always wore a Marine Corps necklace with his wedding bands attached to it; It was the most heart-wrenching item she said the suspects stole.

“It just breaks my heart,” said Elaine.  “We don’t know if he’s going to pull through. This was supposed to have been a day of celebration. We were throwing Wayne a surprise 70th birthday party today.  Instead, we were the ones surprised.”

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321 or submit tips by clicking here.