Marcus Kauffman

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  • "I did not know this handsome fellow Marcus, but his smile..."
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Marcus Kauffman, 25, died Friday, shortly after his family removed him from life support, officials say.

Officials obtained first degree murder warrants after the Rowan County firefighter who was shot during an apparent burglary died Friday.

The murder warrants on Khari Dewayne McClelland, 23, of Harmony, and Jaylend Daquan Turner, 19, of Statesville, are an upgrade from the attempted murder charges each faced when arrested, said Rowan County Sheriff's Capt. John Sifford in a news release.

McClelland is also charged with attempted murder, breaking and entering, larceny of a firearm, and larceny. He is jailed under $5 million bond.

Turner faces the same charges and is held under $3 million bond.

Once the warrants have been served on both men, officials said, their bond information will be updated. Statesville men Tramel Devon Hart, 18, and 25-year-old Michael Dwayne Teasley, are jailed under $500,000 bond and charged with accessory after the fact.

It was "with much sadness" that Sifford said the sheriff's office learned Kauffman had died, following the family's decision to remove him from life support "due to serious and ongoing medical complications caused by the shooting…"

Kauffman was shot in the head on the morning of Dec. 2, as he and his wife returned home after a Thanksgiving weekend trip.

Kauffman, nicknamed Marco, was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center after the shooting and battled for his life nearly three weeks. His wife Maryann and other family members and friends have kept the public updated on a Facebook page.

On Thursday, the family said doctors had decided to test Kauffman for brain activity. If they found none, the family said, doctors would recommend that Kauffman be removed from life support.

"Marcus burst into heaven at 12:52 p.m.," said the family's Facebook update, made around 3:30 p.m. "Our loss is so painful, but we know this was gain for Marcus.

"Tears and grief are eased by the gentle hand of God, holding us, carrying us, wiping our tears," the post read.

"'As for God, His way is perfect.'"

The sheriff's office said Marcus and Maryann Kauffman were returning home the Monday after Thanksgiving, when they saw a car parked in front of their home on Chenault Road, near the Cleveland community in the western part of the county. Marcus Kauffman left his wife, who is pregnant with their first child, at a neighbor's house.

Investigators said Kauffman returned to his home and called 911 moments later, reporting that someone was taking items from the house. Then he told the 911 operator that someone was firing at him.

Investigators said Kauffman was trying to drive away when someone shot through the back window of his car. The bullet hit Kauffman in the head, and his car crashed into a tree.

According to arrest warrants, the suspects took computers, a game station and a handgun from the Kauffmans' residence. The computer was found by police a day later in Statesville, and the gun, a .45-caliber Glock, was later recovered at a home in Iredell, investigators said.

Rowan County deputies made four arrests over the next several days. The gun was sent to the State Bureau of Investigation for forensics testing to determine if Kauffman was shot with his own gun, officials said.

As of Friday, those results had not been returned, Sifford said, adding there's no time line of when they can be expected.

Published in Charlotte Observer from Dec. 20, 2013 to Jan. 10, 2014
Arrangements under the direction of:
Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home
705 Davie Ave | Statesville, NC 28677 | (704) 873-7223
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