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Police say woman, 80, killed in fight over beer

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

Police say an 88-year-old man shot his 80-year old roommate in Gaston County on Sunday during a fight over beer.

Police identified the victim from the Sunday afternoon shooting as Vivian Schronce.

The suspect, Charles Edwin Venn, lived with her at the home on 128 Venn Dr. The home has a Gastonia mailing address but is outside the city limits.

Gaston County Police, who are investigating, believe Schronce and Venn were not romantically involved. Capt. Jay Human described them as roommates who got into an argument.

“He had apparently drank a couple beers during the morning, and she was upset that he had drank some alcohol,” Human said. “They had an argument over that. And then you mix a firearm into it, it gets bad real quick.”

At 12:22 p.m., Gaston County Police were called to the home, near Hickory Grove Road, “in reference to a female in cardiac arrest,” according to a press release.

When officers arrived, they found Schronce had been shot in the chest.

She was transported to Caromont Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Venn was identified as the suspect fairly quickly.

Leanne Catoe told WCNC-TV, the Observer’s news partner, that her mother had lived in the home with Venn for five or six years, and cared for him during that time. She said she last saw her mother in church.

“I sat in church this morning beside her and I had this weird feeling,” said Catoe, “and I moved everything and scooted close to her, and she smiled at me.”

As Catoe went home, she saw an ambulance rush by, in the direction of her mother’s house. Catoe rushed there, she told WCNC-TV, and when she arrived, she saw paramedics performing CPR on her mother.

Venn was taken to Gaston County Jail, where he was being held without bail.

Gaston County Police encourage anyone with information to call them at 704-866-3320

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