Man hit by shotgun pellets thinks crime will go unsolved

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Billy Hopkins didn’t know he had been shot until he felt a searing pain and warm blood rolling down his face.
The 56-year-old was walking across his living room to pick up a pack of cigarettes when two quick shotgun blasts blew through the side window of his 427 Mildred Ave. home Friday morning.
It was about 12:40 a.m., Hopkins said, and he and a friend were sitting in the living room watching an NBA game just before he was rushed off to the emergency room at Rowan Regional Medical Center.
“I ain’t did nothing that would make anybody want to kill me,” he said Friday afternoon.
The shotgun shells were apparently filled with birdshot, spraying pellets into his right knee, shoulder and the side of his head.
He knee, he said, got the worst of it.
“I had to get 13 stitches in it,” the disabled veteran said. “When I came down I stumbled into the floor of the next room. At first, I couldn’t tell I was hurt.”
Hopkins said he heard his friend yelling, “Hit the floor. Hit the floor. Somebody’s shooting.”
Hopkins’ roommate slept through the entire ordeal.
The 56-year-old sat on his couch eating potato chips and talking about the shooting Friday afternoon.
Glad he was simply treated and released, Hopkins hobbled around the house with bandages on his arms and legs.
Shards of glass still covered the couch and a vacuum sat on the living room floor where he had been trying to clean the midnight mess.
Hopkins said he’s quick to argue, but doesn’t have any real enemies. In fact, he’s not sure he was the target.
“I pop off at the mouth sometimes if you make me mad,” he said. “but I don’t think anybody wants to kill me.”
Hopkins’ side window, which faces toward his neighbors’ home, where Dwante Patterson was shot and killed in late November last year, is covered by a curtain.
With the television on last night, he said, a shadow is all the shooter would have seen.
“There’s no way they could have known who was who,” Hopkins said.
Salisbury Police officers said witnesses told them a man and another person with long hair were seen running from the home just after the shots were fired.
No one has been arrested but Salisbury Police are continuing to investigate.
Hopkins said he doesn’t think there will be any resolution to the case.
But he feels lucky to be alive.
“If I would have been a step quicker,” he said, “I might have lost my life.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.
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