Recovered handgun may be linked to Kauffman shooting

Marco Kauffman and his wife Maryann.
Marco Kauffman and his wife Maryann.

Rowan investigators have recovered a .45-caliber handgun they say matches shell casings found where Marcus Kauffman was shot after interrupting a robbery at his western Rowan County home.

Rowan Sheriff’s Lt. Chad Moose confirmed Wednesday morning that the gun was found in Statesville and will be sent to the state crime lab for testing. Rowan Sheriff’s Office investigators have said there is a possibility Kauffman may have been shot with his own handgun, which was stolen in the break-in. Kauffman, who goes by the nickname, Marco, remains hospitalized.


Kauffman, 25, and his wife, Maryann, came home Dec. 2 to find a blue car near the house with the hood up. Kauffman took his wife to a neighbor’s home because he felt uneasy about the situation.

He went back to his house and offered help to a man standing outside the blue car. Investigators say Kauffman then realized he was in the middle of a break-in, and he called 911.

He was shot in the back of the head while inside his car. Kauffman was seriously wounded and his car crashed into a tree. The car was found at the end of a corn field near the couple’s home.

During the investigation, detectives found shell casings on the roadside across from the Kauffmans’ home.

Rowan Sheriff Kevin Auten said Monday there is a possibility the gun used to shoot Kauffman belonged to him. Authorities said Wednesday afternoon the gun recovered was stolen from Kauffman’s home, but lab tests will have to confirm whether it’s the same gun used to shoot him.

Three people have been charged with involvement in the shooting. Khari Dewayne McClelland, 23, was arrested Monday in Catawba County and was returned to Rowan County the same evening. He faces charges of attempted murder, breaking and entering, larceny and larceny of a firearm, all felonies. He remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $5 million bond.

McClelland was named as a suspect early in the investigation. Authorities have said he was known to frequent Statesville, Hickory and Mooresville. A vehicle that matched the description of the car that was at the scene that day was found in Alexander County.

McClelland’s brother, Tramel Devon Hart, 18, of Harmony, is still wanted for accessory after the fact, a felony. Hart is considered armed and dangerous.

Jaylend Daquanne Turner, 19, of Statesville, has been charged with attempted murder, felony breaking and entering, felony larceny of a firearm and felony larceny. Turner remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under $3 million bond.

Michael Dwayne Teasley, 25, also of Statesville, was charged with accessory after the fact, a felony. He remains in the county jail under $500,000 bond.

Kauffman’s family has continued to update the community on his condition with daily posts on social networking site Facebook on the page “Praying for Marco.”

The latest post says the 25-year-old remains stable. The family says they can’t wait until he’s brought out of a medically induced coma and is able to open his eyes and begin to communicate.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Tramel Hart is asked to contact Staff Sgt. Jason Owens at 704-216-8683 or 1st Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687.

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