Local Politics

Congressional candidate says man tried to shoot him

Posted February 1, 2010 4:34 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2010 6:30 p.m. EST

— A Warren County man who plans to challenge Congressman G.K. Butterfield for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District said Monday that he narrowly avoided being shot last week.

Chad Larkins, a contractor from Macon, said he was working at a coat drive for senior citizens at about 7:45 p.m. Friday at 360 Barber Shop, at 1103 S. Roxboro St. in Durham, when a man he described as "unassuming" started asking him about his political platform.

Larkins said the man became agitated during the conversation and threatened him.

"The man told me he had been waiting for me in the grassy knoll, and he was going to assassinate me like Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated John F. Kennedy," Larkins said.

The man pulled out a gun and pointed it at Larkins, but an unidentified bystander grabbed the man's arm, Larkins said.

"Although I was shaken, I was not shot. God was on my side," he said.

Larkins didn't report the encounter to police for more than four hours. The reason for the delay was unclear Monday, and the police report about the incident provided little additional detail.

The gunman fled the scene, and no description of him was released.

Police haven't identified a suspect in the case, which remains under investigation.