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Individual with Gunshot Wound Dies in Watauga ER

By Jesse Wood

April 4, 2014. A male with an approximate age of 40, died of gunshot wounds on Thursday night.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said that at about 9:40 p.m. on April 3, deputies with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a preliminary report of a patient with a gunshot wound at Watauga Medical Center’s emergency room.

Upon arriving to the hospital, the deputies found the patient dead from the apparent gunshot wound. The patient arrived at the hospital in a privately-owned vehicle.

Hagaman said in an email that the investigation is ongoing and that final gunshot determination is a matter for the medical examiner to determine. He added that the investigation, thus far, is not being pursued as a homicide. 

“Understand [ as well] that this is an active investigation and there are family members that have yet to be identified and noticed. As the patient was admitted to WMC, any personal and medical information is subject to HIPAA and cannot be disclosed at this time,” Hagaman wrote. 

Below were notes of the investigation that Hagaman wrote in an email:

  • Deputies conducted a preliminary interview with a female witness
  • All investigative deputies responded to the Hospital and a full investigation was begun, attempting to find the actual crime scene and other witnesses.
  • The search for the crime scene spanned the entire county, from N.C. 194 North to U.S. 321 North.
  • The crime scene was located and processed. Shortly thereafter, all suspects from the scene had been identified and interviewed.
  • Watauga Medical Center and Boone Police Department assisted on several field interview leads.