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Friday, July 03, 2009

Lenior N.C.: Feud ends in gunfire: 1 killed, 4 hurt

Authorities say Caldwell, North Carolina man shot neighbors in fight over dog. He died in a shootout.

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Steve Lyttle
Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009

A simmering feud between next-door neighbors and a fight over a dog ended with one person dead and four injured Wednesday night in Caldwell County.

Neighbors and authorities say Rolland Younce's pit bull attacked and killed a neighbor's cat. The neighbor responded by shooting the dog, authorities said. Younce then shot the neighbor and his 8-year-old daughter, authorities said.

Younce also allegedly shot two deputies before dying in a shootout with authorities. His body was found near his trailer, on Grandin Road off N.C. 18, about 12 miles north of Lenoir.

The neighbor and his daughter were hospitalized with serious injuries, authorities said Thursday. They were identified as Tony Moore and his daughter Ashley, a student at nearby Kings Creek Elementary.

The deputies – Marty Robbins and Thomas McManus – were less severely injured.

Amy Moore told WCNC-TV that she got two calls Thursday afternoon. The first was from her husband, saying he'd shot the neighbor's dog while it was on the porch. The second call, from her daughter, came after the shooting. "She said that daddy was sitting in the yard bleeding," Moore said.

Younce and the Moores had been feuding for several years, said Tammie Roberts, whose backyard bumps up against the land of both families. The neighbors had argued over the property line since Younce moved in. Accusations flew about wood reportedly stolen from a recently completed fence.

Two years ago, Roberts said, Younce's pit bull bit Moore's children. It's still unclear whether authorities did anything about the dog, but Roberts said Moore once approached her about joining a civil lawsuit. She declined, reluctant to get involved in her neighbors' squabble.
Their arguments continued, sometimes ending violently.

"The law has been down here I don't know how many times," Roberts said, "and this isn't the first time shots have been fired here."

Roberts said she was on good terms with the Moores and Younce, and even with his dog. The pit bull wasn't vicious with her, but it sometimes got loose, including Wednesday night when Roberts and her boyfriend got home about 10:30.

It performed a few tricks for them that night, including lying on the ground, and Roberts said her boyfriend considered taking it back to Younce's house. "I said, 'No,'" Roberts said. "I was afraid of getting involved in their fight."

Police were called to the scene about a half-hour after that to deal with a dispute over an animal, the sheriff's office said.

Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones said Robbins, the first deputy who responded, was shot as he approached the Moores' house. A second deputy, McManus, arrived moments later and also was shot. They returned fire at the shooter and were pulled to safety when three other deputies arrived.

At that point, Jones said, the sheriff's office set up a perimeter around the area, called in the SWAT team and requested help from other departments.

Jones said the SWAT team was able to reach the Moore family and pull them to safety. They also began a search for the shooter. Younce was found dead in his yard from a gunshot wound, Jones said, adding that it wasn't self-inflicted.

Ashley Moore was flown to Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Her mother said she was in intensive care, with gunshot wounds to her liver, kidney and lung.

Her father was hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center, but his condition was not available.

Robbins was hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center with gunshot wounds to the arm and leg. He was released from the hospital Friday morning.

McManus was shot in the arm and treated at Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir.

Neighbors got calls from the sheriff's office about midnight telling them to stay away from windows and turn out lights. Roberts said her family stayed crouched in the dark in an inside hallway for most of the night.

"This has been going on for years – them bickering back and forth," she said. "This is something that could have been prevented. … It didn't have to end that way."


Terri Hash said...

This whole thing is the Moore's fault. They're daughter opened the door to Younce`s house without permission! Causing the dog bites. Younce paid the hospital bill. Younce was the one the court's sided with concerning the bill. Younce was even man enough to offer to pay $20 a month to the Moore's...When he already paid the bill. The Moore's caused all of this! They think they on TV as victim's. They are not victim's! They were the problem! Tony Moore in my opinion shot Younce`s dog to get revenge! Younce snapped! No, police shouldn't of been shot at and injured. But, I believe Younce was pushed to the brink by the Moore's. You should be ashamed Tony Moore! Just because your on TV doesn't make you the victim!

renee said...

Terry I agree with you

renee said...

Terry I agree with you

Mellow said...

I totally agree with Terri, but I also think that the Sheriff's Department is to blame! If indeed Tony Moore fired shots at his neighbor, he should have been arrested or at least disarmed! Tony and Amy Moore should be embarrassed and ashamed! Their daughter was trespassing when she opened the door that let the dog out. Because of their act and their parents' inability to accept responsibility for their daughter's action and be mature adults, this tragedy occurred! They should have to pay restitution to Youce's family because the Moores are not without blame.

Alafair Rey said...

Mellow i agree w you!