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Deputies find eight guns in Harrisburg shooter's home

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

CONCORD Police found eight guns in the home of a Harrisburg man accused of shooting two of his neighbors and then himself on Friday.

Deputies recovered three rifles, two pistols and three revolvers during a search of Anthony Charles Hardy’s house Friday, according to a search warrant obtained by the Observer.

They were a semi-automatic FN Herstal FS2000 rifle; a Springfield XD-9 semi-automatic pistol; a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver; a bolt action Remington 510X rifle; a bolt action Marlin XT-22 rifle; a semi-automatic Springfield XD-40 9 mm pistol; an A. Uberti .45-caliber revolver; and a Ruger .22-caliber revolver.

Deputies also found assorted notebooks, writings and five spent bullet casings,

Investigators told the Observer on Tuesday they weren’t sure which guns were used in the killings.

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

A 911 call made by Kirchner’s wife and the search warrant revealed more details about the shootings.

In the call, Lisa Kirchner tells a dispatcher “my neighbor has a gun and … he’s shooting in my backyard.”

Kirchner and Stocks were pronounced dead by emergency personnel after paramedics arrived on the scene. Sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter around Hardy’s house; they believe Hardy may have fired several shots at them.

In the moments after the shooting, deputies were uncertain whether Hardy had taken any hostages, according to the search warrant.

They also made telephone contact with Hardy, but he said nothing, and deputies could only hear him breathing through the phone.

The Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday was also trying to figure out how Hardy received a concealed carry permit in September 2005, said Chief Deputy Paul Hunt.

“We’re not able to answer that yet,” Hunt said. “That’s a question we’re going to ask also. We’ve got to figure out what happened. It may be something where the process must be fixed.”

The permit was issued less than a year after Hardy received a prayer for judgment conviction for misdemeanor assault and battery, state records show.

According to N.C. law, a sheriff must deny a permit to an applicant who has been found guilty, received a prayer for judgment continued, or had a sentence suspended for a violent misdemeanor.

The law would not have stopped Hardy from purchasing a handgun altogether, but it would have prevented him from legally carrying one around hidden on his person.

Concealed carry permits last for five years, according to the Cabarrus Sheriff’s Office, and Hardy would have had to renew in 2010.

In 2010, Hardy applied to renew the concealed carry permit but was denied. Staff researcher Maria David and staff writer Elisabeth Arriero contributed.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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