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Shooting case handed to the D.A. No charges filed in Hickory shooting

May 12, 2011

Authorities will not charge neither the suspect nor the victim in a domestic shooting case that occurred Wednesday near the Burke County Line in Hickory.

Capt. Joel Fish, of the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, said the case will be handed over to the district attorney's office to let them make a decision on whether charges will be filed.

Harry Alexander, 37, of 7539 R.H. Road, shot his uncle, Michael Hughes, in the side with a .22-caliber pistol after the two engaged in a fight that started inside Alexander's residence. The fight ended on Alexander's front lawn, said officers on the scene.

Hughes was incoherent and in stable condition when he left the scene by ambulance, Fish said.

Hughes was living with Alexander at the residence, Fish said.

"At this point, we don't know what the argument was about," Fish said.

Family members and the property's landlord were on the scene and said Hughes was trying to stab Alexander with a knife when Alexander then shot Hughes.

Fish confirmed that a knife was involved in the fight.

"He called me and said, 'I shot him with a .22,'" said Carl Van Engen, landlord of Alexander's property. "His uncle had a knife and was attacking (him) when Harry shot at him."

Hughes was shot through the front of his body, and the bullet then went through the back of his right side. Fish said it is unclear which angle Alexander shot from.

Before authorities arrived on the scene, Alexander called 9-1-1 and said he was being attacked and shot his uncle. The dispatch officer talked Alexander into putting the gun down before authorities arrived, Fish said.

Alexander was taken into custody Wednesday, but was not listed as being in jail Thursday.

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