Death of Orange County man found in yard result of gun battle, sheriff says

Orange County News

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Orange County Sheriff is asking for help to find the person who shot a man to death in his own driveway.

The body was found in the front yard of a home on the 2600 block of Coleman Loop Road in Hillsborough. A neighbor called 911 around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after finding the body.

“This individual was lying in his driveway with a gun at his hand, that all the rounds have been fired and the rack is back. The slide is locked back, which means it was fired until it was empty,” said Sheriff Charles Blackwood.

The victim has been identified as James Otis Kithcart, 62.  He had multiple gunshot wounds to his body, officials said. His death is being investigated as a homicide.

A person who lives nearby reported hearing gunshots at 3:25 a.m. Blackwood says evidence points to a shootout outside the victim’s home around that time.

“There are multiple gun shells, gun cartridges, empty shell casings around his body. He has multiple bullet entries into his body. There was an apparent gun battle,” Blackwood said.

Blackwood wants to bring the victim’s family closure, and asks anyone who saw anything suspicious in the neighborhood over the last 24 hours to come forward.

“We need help from our community to tell us about anything that they may have noticed while they were on this road during the last 24 to 36 hours,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood said. “It might not seem like it’s anything important right now, but it might be the very puzzle piece we need to put this together,” said Blackwood.

There are no suspects at this time. The sheriff’s office is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder.

Dylan Hendricks is the lead investigator. Anyone with any information is asked to call him at (919) 245-2951.

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