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Windsor Forest community struggles in wake of killings

By Elisabeth Arriero
earriero@charlotteobserver.com

Residents of the Windsor Forest subdivision struggled Sunday to understand why, in this neighborhood of friendly people and community events, one of their neighbors would fatally shoot two other residents.

Police offered no new details Sunday about the shooting, and many questions remained unanswered. Cabarrus County Sgt. Dennis Gray said Sunday the office had no further information about the investigation.

Police said Anthony Charles Hardy shot and killed his neighbors on either side of his two-story brick home at 7795 Coachman Court on Friday.

Daniel Thomas Kirchner, 42, and Gary Wade Stocks, 64, were shot in the backyard of Kirchner’s house. Hardy later killed himself in his own house during a standoff with Cabarrus County deputies.

Hardy was found guilty of assaulting a former neighbor in 2004, a misdemeanor. In North Carolina, it is illegal for someone convicted of a felony to possess a firearm. But Hardy’s conviction by itself would not prohibit him from carrying a firearm.

His LinkedIn and Facebook pages listed him as president of Anthony C. Hardy Enterprises, Inc. which he said provides pharmacist staffing solutions.

He described himself as an independent contractor pharmacist and said he had worked as a relief pharmacist for Harris Teeter in the Charlotte area, a pharmacist for Eckerd Corp. in several towns in the Carolinas and for Kerr Drug.

He also said he had received a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from UNC Chapel Hill in 1985.

A woman answering the phone at the Kirchner residence Sunday declined to comment, saying “The family is in total shock right now.”

Neighbors look for answers

Some neighbors have suggested Hardy was angry about trees that were cut down behind his house. Kirchner was president of the Windsor Forest homeowners association.

Hardy’s property backs up to the berm where the pine trees create some privacy from Tom Query Road.

But resident Judy Porson, who lives two doors away from Stocks, said she didn’t believe there was any sort of argument or feud between Hardy and his neighbors over the pine trees.

She recalled how Hardy, Stocks and she had gathered outside to chat in recent weeks, noting that everyone was “very amicable.”

“There was no argument, no animosity among them,” she said. “Obviously he (Hardy) was disturbed. None of us can understand why he did this.”

Neighbors said Coachman Court was known for its block parties and friendliness.

A man living nearby who would not give his name for publication recalled seeing Kirchner taking his two young daughters door to door to help deliver Girl Scout cookies in February.

“Dan is a nice man,” the neighbor said. “If you met him in the aisle in the grocery store, he would be the guy that would move his cart so you could get to the shelf.”

He also recalled how Stocks had recently held a block party out of his driveway.

“Gary was a really, really friendly guy. He’d always stop and say ‘Hi,’ ” said another neighbor, who also asked not to be identified.

Coping with the aftermath

On Sunday, deputies limited traffic into the cul-de-sac where the shooting occurred by parking two cars side by side in the street.

The families had requested help from the agency to limit the number of people driving by to see the homes, a deputy said.

A sign that read “Our Thoughts and Prayers are With You” was posted near the entrance of the 99-home community, and a banner that read, “God Bless Windsor Forest,” hung across the street from the home where the shootings took place.

The board of Windsor Forest also released a statement, saying that a memorial fund had been set up in the names of Stocks and Kirchner. To make a donation, residents can go to any Wells Fargo branch and say they want to make a donation to one or both of the families.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of our beloved friends and neighbors who have been directly affected by this unspeakable event,” the statement said.

Staff writers Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Dan Duffey contributed.

Arriero: 704-804-2637On Twitter: @earriero
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