Local News

Man, shot defending wife during robbery, dies

Posted July 9, 2010 1:58 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2010 3:58 p.m. EDT

— A 78-year-old man has died of injuries he suffered in a shootout last month with three men trying to rob his wife, a clerk at a Lakeview convenience store.

Deputy Neil Godfrey with the Moore County Sheriff's Office said Angus Kelly died Friday morning at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where he had been listed in critical condition since the June 28 robbery.

Friends said Kelly often waited outside the Exxon Short Stop Food Mart to protect his 75-year-old wife whenever she was the last one working at the store.

He had driven up to the store that night to see three men robbing his wife at gunpoint. He fired a shotgun through the window, striking one man in the face.

The getaway driver fled, and two other men inside the store used Grace Kelly as a shield, prompting an exchange of gunfire in which the husband and wife were shot, investigators said.

Grace Kelly was treated for a gunshot wound in the arm and released from the hospital that night.

A grand jury is expected to hear evidence Monday seeking murder charges in the case.

Four people face charges in the crime: Randy Joel Williams, 17, Leroy Richard Medley, 20, Paris Yusef Mack, 17, all of Southern Pines, and Demarcus James Dennison, 18, of Polkton.

Each were initially charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one count each of first-degree kidnapping and armed robbery.

Authorities are also investigating whether the men could be involved in a series of armed robberies across the state over the past several months, Moore County's sheriff said.

Friends of the Kellys held a fundraiser for the couple in front of the Exxon on Friday. They found out about Angus Kelly's death around mid-day during the event.

"It was hard and we didn't really know how to react," volunteer Jeri Patterson said.

The barbecue plate fundraiser was planned prior to Angus Kelly's death. Organizers said they had raised about $1,000 by 4:30 p.m.

"We are going to focus on helping Grace now," volunteer Faye Lineberry said.

Community members have plans to hold more fundraisers for the Kelly family in the future.