Police investigating Kannapolis man’s shooting death

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Sarah Nagem
KANNAPOLIS ó Larry Clyde Adams had taken three young brothers under his wing, teaching them how to fix cars and allowing them to do odd jobs around his house.
Two of those men, who are triplets, were in Adams’ backyard when he was shot and killed Wednesday evening, Adams’ family and police said.
Adams, 67, of 204 W. 21st St., was shot at least once with a small-caliber handgun around 6 p.m., said Lt. Ken Jackson of the Kannapolis Police Department.
Jackson said police didn’t know Wednesday night who owned the gun and whether the incident was accidental or if foul play was involved.
“We won’t really know until we talk to everyone involved and review the evidence collected,” Jackson said.
He said police interviewed brothers Johnny and David Canupp, 20, after the incident Wednesday. They were with Adams when he was shot, Jackson said.
No charges had been filed against the men Wednesday night, and Jackson said police wanted to consult with the Rowan County District Attorney’s office this morning.
Adams was a father figure to the young men, even after the Adams family suspected them of stealing from him.
“I didn’t much like them,” said Adams’ wife, Anita Adams.
Larry Adams Sr. was supposed to buy a trailer for his truck from the Canupp triplets Wednesday, his son, Larry Jr., said. He’s not sure if that transaction ever took place.
Anita said one of the Canupp brothers had called the house Wednesday morning and said he was going to come over to work on Adams’ pickup truck.
“They were always out here doing something, fiddling with something,” Anita said at her home Wednesday night.
Around 6 p.m., she was talking to Larry Jr. on the phone. The Canupp brothers ran in the door, telling her to call 911, she said. Her husband had been shot.
After calling, Anita yelled across the street to her neighbor, Micah Ball. Ball, who says she used to be certified in CPR, ran to Adams’ backyard and attempted to resuscitate him.
Ball said Adams had a pulse, but his breathing was shallow. She asked one of the Canupp men to go across the street for her mother, Sherri Little.
Little also tried CPR, Ball said. But it was too late.
Many family members gathered at Adams’ house Wednesday evening. They described Adams as a generous man who was always willing to help people, even strangers.
Larry Jr., 39, said he was childhood friends with a relative of the Canupp triplets. That’s how his father came to know them, he said.
Larry Jr. said he thought the men tried to take advantage of the older Adams’ generosity.
“We told him to quit hanging around those boys,” he said.
The family suspected that the Canupp triplets had stolen necklaces and some money from Larry Sr., his son said.
Anita said her husband had trouble telling people “no,” including the Canupps.
“He was really kindhearted,” she said. “He would help a stranger.”
Once, a stranger came to the house and asked Adams for $20, his son said. Adams gave the stranger $100 and asked the person to bring him back the difference.
“They never brought the change back,” Larry Jr. said.
Adams retired from Cooper Kenworth Trucks in 2004, Anita said. He delivered truck parts for the company.
Adams leaves behind three children ó twin sons and a daughter. He had 13 grandchildren, the family said.
Anita and Larry Sr. had raised one grandson, Christopher Adams, who is now 21, since he was 9, they said.
“He would have done anything for anybody,” said Crystal Adams, Larry Sr.’s 21-year-old granddaughter.
“We never thought it would end up like this,” she said.