Update: Robeson County school principal shot in face driving to work

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FAIRMONT, N.C. (AP) ó A middle school principal was shot in the face Thursday as he drove to work, but authorities said efforts to talk to him have been hindered by his wounds.
James Hunt, principal of Fairmont Middle School in Robeson County, was wounded about 7:30 a.m., officials said. The windows on the passenger and driverís side of his vehicle were shot out.
Officials said the shooting happened on a country road and not at the school.
County school Superintendent Johnny Hunt said the principal drove to a hospital in nearby Lumberton. He was later airlifted to Duke University Hospital in Durham. The superintendent said James Hunt was alert and sitting up, but couldnít speak clearly because of his injury. The two men are not related.
ěFrom what I understand, James was shot by someone from another vehicle on Iona Church Road near U.S. 301,î Johnny Hunt said. ěJames must have had to drive at least 10 miles to get to the hospital. I donít know how he did it.î
Duke spokeswoman Lauren Shaftel Williams said the hospital doesnít give out information on patients with gunshot wounds.
ěWe have no idea why it happened,î said school system spokesman Al Kahn.
Kahn said the assailant pulled up beside the principalís vehicle before shooting a shotgun at him.
ěIt was at fairly close range,î Kahn said, but the injuries werenít life-threatening. ěAt this point, we donít know who did it or why.î
Maj. Howard Branch of the Robeson County Sheriffís Office said investigators were having difficulty getting information.
ěWeíve tried to talk to him, but heís in no shape to speak,î Branch said.