Volunteer firefighter remains in critical condition after being shot in head

by: Eric Philips Updated:


ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Police are following several new tips after a robber shot a man in the head following Thanksgiving.

But those tips have not led to any solid leads or an arrest.

The victim, Marcus Kauffman, remains in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center.

Eyewitness News has been pushing investigators for answers all day Tuesday.

Investigators spent most of the day at the house looking for evidence.

They took down the crime scene tape on Tuesday night.

One woman who has a special ties to the home returned on Tuesday in disbelief.

"Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up," said Debra Binkley.

Binkley lived in the house on Chenault Road in Rowan County for more than 25 years. She and her husband raised two children there.

She told Eyewitness News that she had to stop by after she heard about what happened.

"And somebody pulled up Facebook and I said, 'Oh my God, that is my old house,'" said Binkley.

CHOPPER 9: Scene of Rowan Co. shooting

She said she cannot stop thinking about the couple who lives there now.

"... I am a nurse so I am concerned about the young man, even though I didn't know him," she said.

Authorities said 25-year-old Kauffman and his wife were returning home on Monday when they noticed a suspicious car.

Kauffman drove his wife to a neighbor's house; when he returned someone shot him in the back of his head.

Investigators believe the same person broke into the home.

On Tuesday friends showed up to take care of the family dog, Kai.

Kauffman is in critical condition with his pregnant wife by his side.

Eyewitness News was told doctors had to remove part of his skull to reduce the swelling on his brain.

A sign at the volunteer fire department where Kauffman served reads, "Pray for Marco."

One of the biggest questions still unanswered in the case s why Kauffman 's 911 calls for help did not go right to the closest law enforcement call center.

Authorities said Kauffman managed to call 911 while shots were being fired. The call was cut off; Kaufman was soon discovered shot in the head.

Help was delayed, if only momentarily, because of how the call was routed.

Officials said when he placed the call from his cell phone it went to the nearest cell tower, which is in Iredell.

The operator did not recognize the name of the street Kauffman gave, noticed he had a 366 area code and asked if he was in Davie County.

Kauffman said he thought he was, so the call was transferred to Davie County.

Officials said the operator there recognized Chenault Road and named some surrounding streets. When Kauffman confirmed that is where he was, the call was sent to Rowan County.

Officials said transferring from county to county took about a minute and they said the operators responded appropriately after asking the right questions.

Police said multiple people may have been involved in the shooting and right now they are looking for a teal or blue car, possibly a Pontiac.

The sheriff's department is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

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