Brain swelling latest concern for victim as authorities seek suspect in shooting

Khari Dewayne McClelland
Khari Dewayne McClelland

Warrants released Thursday by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office detail charges against a man wanted in the shooting of Marcus “Marco” Kauffman.

Authorities are looking for Khari Dewayne McClelland, 23, on charges of attempted first-degree murder, felony breaking and entering and theft, according to warrants released by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The warrants say a .45-caliber Glock handgun was stolen from Kauffman’s home, along with an Apple laptop computer, a desktop computer and an Xbox 360.


Authorities have not said what type of gun was used in the shooting.

McClelland is one of two people suspected in the shooting of Kauffman, 25, in western Rowan County on Monday.

The hunt for McClelland began after members of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division located the vehicle connected to the shooting in Alexander County.

Late Wednesday night, Rowan investigators enlisted the help of the Statesville Police Department. They recovered a computer stolen from the break-in at the victim’s Chenault Road home in Cleveland.

On Monday morning, Kauffman and his wife, Maryann, were returning home from visiting family when they spotted a blue vehicle with the hood up parked near the home. The car appeared to be broken down. Feeling uneasy about the situation, Kauffman took his wife to a friend’s house. He returned to his home, located in the 4200 block of Chenault Road, to offer help to the occupants of the car.

He found the two men appeared to be removing items from the home, which included a computer that has since been recovered, investigators say.

Kauffman called 911, and during the call asked the suspects why they were taking his belongings. During the conversation, Kauffman told the 911 dispatcher that shots were being fired and then the call was dropped.

Kauffman was found in his car with a severe gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The robbers left with the Kauffmans’ property.

Marcus Kauffman remains in the hospital. His family has continued to provide updates on his condition via a Facebook page, “Praying for Marco.”

On Thursday, Kauffman’s wife said doctors were concerned about the increasing pressure on his brain.

“They’ve been giving him medication trying to bring it down, and putting ice packs all around him to try and help,” she wrote in the morning. “The nurse says it’s kind of a balancing act right now, because using more medication to help the swelling could also spike other things that shouldn’t be spiked.”

She continues with urging “prayer warriors” to pray for him. Five minutes after the early morning post, Maryann reported the pressure in his brain had dropped two digits.

Just before 8:30 p.m. Thursday, a Facebook update said the struggle with pressure on his brain continues. “The doctor felt it was best to go ahead and insert a temporary shunt to help relieve the pressure. While the procedure went well, the next few days will be critical as he continues to have some issues with swelling and pressure,” the post said.

Both suspects in the shooting are described as black males, in their 20s, with slim builds. Detectives are still working to identify the second suspect who was in the greenish-blue 1995 Saturn two-door coupe with McClelland, as well as searching for more stolen property from the Kauffmans’ residence.

McClelland’s last known address is Highland Point Drive in Harmony. McClelland is known to frequent Statesville, Mooresville and Hickory.

McClelland should be considered armed and dangerous. He has a number of 2011 misdemeanor breaking and entering convictions stemming from incidents beginning in 2009 in Iredell County, according to the N.C. Department of Corrections.

Investigators ask that anyone with information contact Staff Sgt. Jason Owens 704-216-8683 or First Lt. Chad Moose 704-216-8687 at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.


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