wester rowan shooting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
A western Rowan County resident shot and killed a man trying to break into his house Sunday night, authorities said.
The resident, 31-year-old Tavis Houpe, was also shot and suffered what were believed to be serious injuries, Rowan County Sheriff George Wilhelm said.
Authorities responded to a reported shooting at 16565 Dooley Road, near the border with Iredell and Davie counties, around 10:50 Sunday night. Medical responders waited near the house until sheriff’s deputies arrived to secure the scene.
Arriving at the small brick house, the deputies found a man lying at the bottom of steps to a deck on the side of the house. The medical responders confirmed that he was dead minutes later.
Houpe was taken by ambulance to Davis Regional Medical Center in Iredell County and later flown to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, Wilhelm said. An investigator had been dispatched there to interview him.
It was unclear early this morning whether the man who was killed shot Houpe. Initial reports said at least two men were involved in the home invasion. One or more witnesses said they saw another man leave in a car, Wilhelm said. A tracking dog was on the way to the area to try and find the second suspect, if there was one.
“We’re still in the process of trying to figure it out,” he said.
Wilhelm said he didn’t know the exact nature of Houpe’s injuries. Houpe was shot more than once in what Wilhelm called a “suspected home invasion” as investigators worked at the house. It was unclear if anyone actually got into the house. All the shooting took place on the deck outside, he said.
Several other residents who also live in the house were inside at the time of the shootings and were still there as authorities investigated near 1 a.m. today.
Wilhelm said early this morning he didn’t have the name of the man who was killed. Nor did he know the exact nature of the fatal injuries, as authorities awaited the arrival of a medical examiner.
As investigators worked inside yellow crime scene tape surrounding the home’s front yard, the man’s body remained at the base of the stairs, covered in a white sheet.