Victims of shooting named; charges will wait

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
Investigators say the wife of a man killed during an argument Thursday night is not a suspect in his shooting. Another family member is believed to have fired multiple shotgun blasts during the incident in the Summer Place development on High Rock Lake.
Billy Tommy Elmore, 52, who had lived at 165 Leisure Lane until last week, died around 8:15 p.m. at the scene. The shooting occurred in the yard.
Tiffany Marie Barbee, 21, of 198 Yellow Stone Lane, Statesville, suffered severe wounds when shot in the arm and remained at Carolinas Medical Center on Friday.
After being shot, Barbee drove herself in a Ford Expedition to Tamarac Marina off Bringle Ferry Road. She was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Sheriff George Wilhelm said Friday that Barbee is the girlfriend of one of Elmore’s sons. She had agreed to drive Billy Elmore to his former residence at Summer Place, apparently because he didn’t have a vehicle.
Wilhelm said the Sheriff’s Office had responded to repeated domestic disturbance calls to the 165 Leisure Lane address over the past several weeks.
Billy Elmore had moved out of the house last week and was apparently staying with a son and his son’s girlfriend in Statesville.
Wilhelm said Elmore’s wife, Patty Kesler Elmore, had taken out a domestic violence protection order against her husband Wednesday, and the order had been sent to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office to be served.
A spokesman for the Iredell Sheriff’s Office confirmed the order had been received but said it had not been served on Billy Elmore. But Wilhelm said investigators believe Billy Elmore was aware of the order.
Wilhelm said charges won’t be lodged until deputies can talk with Barbee, who he said was in a coma Friday.
“We’ve heard one side,” he said. “We need to hear the other.”
Wilhelm said deputies were delayed in responding to the scene because of an earlier incident at Dan Nicholas Park.
Several deputies worked to find two students who broke into an activity bus and then fled into the woods.
Wilhelm said the officers assigned to the eastern end of the county were tied up with processing the suspects and were outside the district when the shooting report came in.