Elizabethtown, N.C. — A retired North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper is being investigated in Bladen County for shooting a father and son during a trespassing dispute.
Thomas David Daughety Sr., 64, of Parkton, and Thomas David Daughety Jr., 42, of Fayetteville, were shot Monday morning on U.S. Highway 701, near Beards Chapel Loop Road, in Elizabethown.
Bladen County Sheriff's Office Capt. Rodney Hester said Herbert Paul Weissinger, 55, the son-in-law of a private land owner, confronted the pair about trespassing and that there was a "physical altercation" before the gunfire.
Investigators are still waiting to interview the younger Daughety, who is recovering from his injuries at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville.
A witness who was with the Daughetys, however, said the pair was running dogs to track bears on state game land that bordered the private property and that they never wandered onto it.
The witness said Weissinger approached them in an SUV, got out shouting obscenities and pulled a handgun on the Daughetys in a heated exchange.
Neither of the Daughetys were armed, the witness said, adding that their guns were in their truck.
The elder Daughety also said nobody in his group had their guns out.
"We were never, ever trespassing on someone else's land," he said. "We were always on state forestry land."
Thomas Daughety Jr. was shot in the stomach and the arm, authorities said. His father was shot in the hand while trying to wrestle away the gun during the confrontation.
Weissinger, who hasn't been charged in the case, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Bladen County District Attorney Jon David is conducting a "thorough investigation," a spokesman said, and is working closely with the sheriff's office and the State Bureau of Investigation to review the case.