Police, fire department accept donations for volunteer firefighter shot

by: Eric Philips Updated:


ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - A shooting has sent shock waves through a local community, putting a damper on the holidays.

On Saturday, the town of Cleveland used an annual Christmas event to raise support for the victim's family.

The annual Christmas parade in the town of Cleveland had all the pomp and circumstance that you would expect, but what was going on the sidelines drew a lot of attention.

That is where the police and volunteer fire departments were collecting money under a tent that said "Pray for Marco."

Donations will go to the family of Marcus Kaufman. He was shot at his Rowan County home on Monday morning during a burglary gone bad.

"I was just blown off my feet when I heard about it, it's sad, I didn't know what to do. I was stunned," said David Miller, one of Marcus' friends.

"Everybody is still kinda in shock but they want to give all the support they can. Right now, financial support is what the family needs along with the prayers," said Fire Chief Kenny Payne.

Investigators said 23-year-old Khari McClelland and another man were burglarizing Kaufman's home Monday and opened fire on the 25-year-old volunteer firefighter when he caught them in the act.

The bullet hit Kaufman in the back of the head. He remains in serious condition in Charlotte.

Town leaders hope the donations will help the family cope.

Kaufman is a newlywed. He and his wife are expecting their first child.

While people are not by the family's side physically, those close to the family said the support is appreciated.