Arrest made in February shooting

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

EAST SPENCER – An 18-year-old man has been arrested and charged with firing multiple shots into an occupied car last month.

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Johnai Anthony Rippy was charged with discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

The arrest is the result of an investigation into a shooting that occurred at the intersection of North Long and East Jefferson Streets on Feb. 26. Investigators said Rippy pulled up next to a vehicle at the intersection about 11:37 p.m. and recognized those in the car. Rippy started shooting into the car, hitting one person and causing injury to both. He fled the scene, and the victims and their car were found by a deputy who was conducting a traffic stop nearby. The driver in that stop told deputies they had heard shots fired earlier.

The victims’ car was found crashed on Burdette Bridge, and the victims themselves were located in a Dollar General parking lot in Spencer. Both victims were hospitalized and have since been released.

Deputies believe the shooting to be gang related, they said.

Rippy is being held on a $250,000 secured bond in Rowan County Jail.