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Cumberland Authorities Look To See If Shooting Related To Other Crimes In Area

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities in Cumberland County are investigating an overnight shooting that left an 11-year-old girl injured.

Authorities say somone fired multiple gunshots into the mobile home of 31-year-old Tarsha Rena Cole, of Twisted Oaks Drive. One of the bullets struck her daughter, Desiree, who was sleeping in her mother's bed.

Three other children -- ages 5, 12, and 3 months -- were in her residence at the time of shooting. Authorities say Tarsha Cole was in the living room when she heard the gunshots.

Cole's daughter was taken to Highsmith Rainey Hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. She has since been treated and released. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

Detectives also learned that on June 8, Cole reported to sheriff's deputies that two 5-week-old pit bull puppies valued at $600 had been stolen from her front yard. Cole and her boyfriend, Ricky McDonald, had bred their pit bull dog with the dog of their neighbors, Bridget and Leforice Blue, and were given two of the puppies from the litter.

Authorities say the Blues' home was intentionally set on fire Wednesday. Authorities said the fire started on the outside of their bedroom and damage was minimal.

The couple were home asleep in their bed at the time of the fire. No arrests have been in the arson investigation.

"It seems coincidental that you have these two families involved in an agreement, and now after the puppies are stolen, they both become victims of violent crime," said Lt. Sam Pennica, of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives are wondering if a disagreement the families had over the puppies led to the fire and the shooting.

"We're looking into that possibility," Pennica said.

Crimestoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information that leads to arrests in these cases.


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