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The victim’s name in a weekend shooting in Catawba County has been released. 16-year-old Selena Seleste Lewis was victimized in the Sunday incident. The Catawba County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the case.

According to law enforcement reports, a 21-year-old man was considering purchasing a gun. Initially, officials said the man was dating Lewis, but later confirmed the two were not dating.

Another person was with the victim and the man at the time that they stopped to look at a gun for sale in the back of a pickup truck on Rocky Ford Road, near Barrett Baxter Road.

Officials said Lewis was taking a picture of the gun when the man accidentally pulled the trigger. She was shot in the chest just above her heart with a .22 rifle. A medical helicopter was called, but Lewis died before it arrived.

At this time no charges have been filed, Officials plan to meet with the district attorney’s office at a later time.

31-year-old Brandon Keith Hunter of 3rd Avenue Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before eleven o’clock Saturday morning (July 25) one felony count each of larceny, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and possession of stolen goods or property.

Events leading to his arrest began at about 10:30 a.m. when Officers responded to the area of 2nd Street S.E. and Highway 70 S.E. in an attempt to locate a stolen vehicle. Police spotted what they believed to be the vehicle in question and stopped it on the 900 block of South Center Street.

Officers ran the vehicle registration and confirmed that it was the vehicle they were seeking and they confirmed the driver’s identity as Brandon Hunter. He was wanted on warrants out of Lincoln County.

Hunter taken into custody without incident and jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $14,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (July 27) in Newton.

25-year-old Luke Douglas Beach of 6th Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police at about 1:30 Friday afternoon (July 24) on one felony count each of first-degree burglary and possession of cocaine.

He was charged in connection to an incident in April of this year when Police responded to a reported break-in in progress on the 800 block of 4th Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory. Officers arrived and found Beach in front of the residence. In his possession were 0.6 grams of powder cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Following his most recent arrest, Beach was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $67,500 secured bond. He will appear in Superior Court July 31 in Newton.

Monday, 27 July 2015 04:59

Lenoir Man Charged With Child Sex Offense

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51-year-old George William Sheffield of NW Elizabeth Street in Lenoir was arrested Friday (July 24) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with first degree sex offense with a child. Following the arrest, Sheffield was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond. A District Court date was set for today (Monday, July 27).

19-year-old Israel Jonathan Wise of 33rd Street NE in Hickory was arrested Sunday (July 26) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping, larceny of a firearm, and misdemeanor larceny. Following the arrest, Wise was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $21,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, July 27).

Monday, 27 July 2015 04:38

Newton Man Arrested On Multiple Drug Charges

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30-year-old Tony Dontae Oates of McDaniels Circle in Newton was arrested Saturday (July 25) by Newton Police Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of cocaine, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, and open container. Oates was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (July 31).

A Burke County man who was charged with assault after allegedly driving with his girlfriend on the hood of his car is now suspected of breaking into the impound lot to retrieve that car. Authorities are seeking assistance in finding the suspect.

24-year-old John Thao of Vine Arden Road in Morganton, will reportedly have warrants issued against him by the Morganton Department of Public Safety on charges of first-degree trespassing and damage to property. That’s according to information from a report published in "The News Herald" in Morganton.

Thao was arrested July 19 on charges of misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury or with a deadly weapon, communicating threats and reckless driving with wanton disregard, according to an MDPS arrest report. A witness said Thao had driven along East Fleming Drive with his girlfriend, Justice Renee Weaver on the hood of his car.

Police reports also show that Weaver also was arrested July 19 and charged with misdemeanor simple assault and battery. In "The News Herald's" report, it says that police reports say Weaver had climbed on the car to prevent Thao from leaving, but he had driven away anyway. Both suspects were released on bond.

Public Safety reports say Thao broke into A&T Wrecking to retrieve his car on the morning of July 21. Security footage from nearby Ace Hardware reportedly caught Thao heading toward the impound lot, and shows a vehicle matching that of the suspect, leaving at a fast pace at 8:30 a.m.

Anyone with information regarding Thao’s whereabouts is asked to contact Burke County Crime Stoppers at 828-437-3333 or Public Safety at 828-437-1211.

The Hickory Police Department is seeking public assistance in the investigation of a shooting that occurred on Thursday, July 23rd at approximately 10 p.m. in the parking lot of Rite Aid on Hwy 127 North. The business was closed at the time of the shooting.

The victim, 39-year-old Kambiz Saleh Tehrani of Hickory, followed the reported shooter's vehicle and repeatedly flashed his headlights and sounded his horn at the other driver attempting to get the vehicle to stop. The encounter between the victim and subject is believed to be the result of a possible road rage incident that both vehicles were involved in while traveling north on NC Highway 127.

The suspected shooter’s vehicle eventually pulled into the parking lot of Rite Aid and Tehrani followed the vehicle into the same parking and stopped. Tehrani exited his vehicle and approached the subject’s vehicle. A subject described as a black male exited the passenger side of the subject car and an altercation began between the two. During the altercation Tehrani was shot. Tehrani was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center and then later to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

Hickory Police are currently looking for two individuals that were in the vehicle pictured. The driver was a white female described as having dark shoulder length hair, and the passenger was a black male described as being short, stocky, short hair, mid 20s, approximately 5’10”, 180 lbs, wearing jeans and a dark shirt. Both of these individuals are wanted for questioning by police in reference to this incident.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or the identity is encouraged to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.

Lincoln County Sheriff's Detective Kelly Paris is investigating the theft of a cemetery plaque and granite slab containing human ashes from Forest Lawn Cemetery at 2858 East NC Highway 150. All of the stolen items except a wedding band were recovered.

An individual who travels Magnolia Grove Road daily discovered the missing items near a bridge around 5:45 p.m. Friday.

Deputies were dispatched to the cemetery shortly before 10:00 a.m. Friday after the cemetery site manager reported the incident. The plaque and granite slab containing the cremated remains of Trudy A. Bumgarner was completely removed leaving behind a hole in the ground and a bronze flower vase.

Investigation into the incident is continuing. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.

Sunday, 26 July 2015 20:56

Teen girl accidentally shot, killed

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The Catawba County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a teenage girl died from a gunshot wound Sunday afternoon.

A 21-year-old man was considering purchasing a gun. Initially, officials said the man was dating the teen, but later confirmed the two were not dating.

Another person was with the teen and the man at the time that they stopped to look at a gun for sale in the back of a pickup truck on Rocky Ford Road, near Barrett Baxter Road.

Officials said the girl was taking a picture of the gun when the man accidentally pulled the trigger. She was shot in the chest just above her heart with a .22 rifle.

A medical helicopter was called, but the teen died before it arrived.

The Sheriff’s Office is not releasing names until they speak to families of both the victim and the suspected shooter.

At this time no charges have been filed, Officials plan to meet with the district attorney’s office at a later time.