Local News

Fayetteville police investigating war veteran's shooting death

Posted November 26, 2012 9:40 a.m. EST
Updated November 27, 2012 6:39 a.m. EST

— Fayetteville police are investigating the death of a Vietnam War veteran whose body was found behind a Krispy Kreme Sunday night.

Wolfgang Joppich, 67, was found shot in the chest shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday on Tally Ho Drive and was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives said Monday that they believe robbery might have been a motive. On Monday, they found Joppich's wallet and some other personal items in a dumpster on Pedro Drive.

Investigators are asking that anyone with information about the crime to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483- 8477.

They are also asking for the public's help in finding his next of kin.

"I'm asking for help. I'm asking anybody out there who can give (any information about the crime)," detective Ronnie Hutchins said at a news conference. "What you think may not be much, what you think is not important will be important."

Joppich was known to frequent the area of Bragg Boulevard to feed feral cats, police said.

Those who knew him said he was also a regular customer at the doughnut shop, on Bragg Boulevard, and used to go there every night "like clockwork."

He grew up in Germany and served in the Army for 16 years. Afterward, he became homeless and lived in his van for years.

Last year, a Christian ministry, Operation Inasmuch, provided him a home, which he shared with his housemate, Robert Scarboro.

Scarboro described Joppich as a "gentle soul" who often would take books and magazines to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Fayetteville.

"He was peaceful. He was loving," Scarboro said. "He would tell people on the streets that were homeless and hungry where they could be fed."