Police still searching for gunman after man shot in head in own driveway

by: Eric Philips Updated:

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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Rowan County deputies are trying to track down the person who shot a man in the head as he drove out of his own driveway.

Tuesday morning, Marcus Kauffman is fighting for his life at the hospital.

His neighbors are calling for justice.

Kauffman’s family set up a Facebook page posting updates on his condition.

It says he is still unresponsive, and is being treated for swelling in the brain.

Deputies combed the area near the home on Chenault Road near Cleveland, N.C., for nearly seven hours.

A 911 call was placed to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office about 10:23 a.m. for a possible breaking and entering with shots being fired.

A friend told Channel 9 that Marcus Kauffman and his wife returned home from a Thanksgiving trip out of town.

The friends said someone was in front of their home with a car that appeared to be broken down that made them feel uncomfortable.

Kauffman took his wife to a neighbor’s home and came back, the friend said.

Moments later, the friend said they heard gunshots and then discovered Kauffman had been shot in the head.

Deputies confirmed to Channel 9 that Kaufman, 25, was found with an apparent gunshot wound nearby in his vehicle. Investigators said Kaufman's Acura struck a tree, which caused more injuries.

CHOPPER 9: Scene of Rowan Co. shooting

Deputies said Kauffman was airlifted to a hospital in Charlotte for life-threatening injuries.

Officials are seeking information about a teal or blue car, possibly a Pontiac, that appeared to be broken down in connection with the crime.  Investigators said the vehicle was operated and occupied by at least one black male.

Detectives said Kaufman's home appeared to be broken into and items were taken.

The shooting has left Kaufman's friend confused and shocked.

“Words can't describe it right now. They got a lot of people praying for them, all of my family and everybody I know is heart-broke right now. This whole community is praying," said friend Conrad Eaton.

Eaton said Kauffman had been married just a year and a half and that his wife is pregnant. Kauffman also is a volunteer fireman.

While responding to the 911 call, investigators said a white van ran a stop sign nearby and struck a patrol car. The patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Dixon suffered only minor injuries.

The van and its owner were later located and were cited in the crash.

Deputies are urging anyone who may have traveled on Chenault Road Monday between 9 and 10:30 a.m. to contact authorities at 704-216-8687.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the crime.

Chopper 9 flew over the scene Monday afternoon. Check out a slideshow of the scene here.

Stay with wsoctv.com for more on this story.

A Facebook page, Praying for Marco, was created for Kaufman. Click here to view the page.