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Suspect named in Rowan burglary shooting

Rowan County authorities named a suspect Thursday in the shooting of a man who confronted burglars at his home earlier this week.

The breakthrough in the case came after Wednesday night’s discovery of a computer that had been stolen from the home of Marcus and Maryann Kauffman, on Chenault Road in the western part of the county. The computer was found shortly before midnight in Statesville, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Based on that discovery, authorities have identified Khari Dewayne McClelland, 23, of Harmony, as a suspect. Capt. John Sifford of the Sheriff’s Office said McClelland “is one of two suspects in the case,” but they do not have a name of the second man they believe was involved.

Marcus Kauffman, 25, a volunteer firefighter, was shot in the head and critically injured after he apparently arrived at his home while a burglary was in progress. He remained in critical condition Thursday at Carolinas Medical Center.

In addition to naming a suspect, Rowan County authorities also released new details about the events Monday morning at the Kauffman’s home.

They say the Kauffmans noticed a car, apparently broken down, parked near their home. Marcus Kauffman dropped off his wife, who is pregnant, at a neighbor’s residence, then returned to help the people whose car was parked near their home.

“When Mr. Kauffman returned, he discovered the suspects appeared to be moving items from his home,” Sifford said. Those items included the computer that was found Wednesday night.

Arrest warrants in the case show McClelland is accused of stealing a laptop computer, desktop computer and Xbox game system from the Kauffmans’ home.

Sifford also said that during a 911 call Kauffman made, he could be heard asking the two men why they were taking items from his residence. Kauffman then told the 911 dispatcher that shots were being fired, and the phone went dead.

The vehicle in the case has been identified as a greenish-blue 1995 two-door Saturn.

“Detectives are still working to identify the second suspect,” Sifford said, adding that investigators also are looking for other items that were stolen from the Kauffmans’ residence.

Deputies say McClelland’s last known address was on Highland Point Drive in Harmony, which is in northern Iredell County. They say the suspect is known to spend time in Statesville, Mooresville and Hickory, and that McClelland should be considered armed and dangerous.

Meanwhile, friends of Marcus Kauffman reported Thursday morning that he is suffering from brain swelling again, and that doctors are working to treat that complication. On Wednesday, friends said doctors had determined that the gunshot wound caused brain damage that could limit vision in his right eye and motor skills on his left side.

Anyone with information as to McClelland’s whereabouts or the identity of the second suspect is asked to contact sheriff’s deputies in Rowan County at 704-216-8687 or 704-216-8683.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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