Shots Fired into an Occupied Home on the Corner of Old Plank Road and Wilson Street in Salisbury, N.C.

Posted on May 26, 2016

Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney

♦ Around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning Brandon Lee Barker, a veteran of  Iraqi Freedom, 4th Infantry Division and who lives with his wife and four children on Old Plank Road, was looking out the window at his vehicles (they were recently broken into) when he was startled by 4 or 5 gunshots coming from an area around the duplex next door at 1005 Old Plank Road. Brandon called for his wife to hand him his pistol.  Armed now, he advanced, as he was trained, towards trouble to see if anyone was “down” and to get a description of perpetrators.

The duplex next door had a troubled past.  In that building some folks moved out of the front apartment a few weeks back. Soon after Raleigh Bail Enforcement Agents showed up looking for one of the occupants. The couple in the rear apartment has a baby and another child.  Brandon spoke to the father who told him the couple’s bedroom window got shot out. Brandon described the family as  a nice young couple and wonders if this act wasn’t random or possibly directed at the folks who moved out.  Freda Renee Carr, 45, spoke to the arriving police.

When the Salisbury Police arrived some 15 minutes later, Brandon told them what he knew.

Brandon, his wife and four children rent a modest, though well kept home next door. They are considering making an offer on the house. However, he’s concerned about crime in this area behind Livingstone’s football stadium that he and a few friends from his firearm’s club named; “North Carolina Elite Freedom Shooters” sometimes patrol the neighborhood at night with his dog “Ivan.”

Brandon, Ivan and club member Casey Cofer.

Lest anyone label them vigilantes, Brandon is working on a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security and knows well the legal limitations as to what his group can do. By law they are limited to witnessing, reporting and discouraging crime. If you see a sidearm here or there it’s just for personal protection should they become engaged by the gunfire that’s all too common these days in Salisbury. While Ivan the dog projects a fearsome appearance, out on patrol the neighborhood kids love the dog and often run up to pet him.

Brandon expressed his concern with the under-staffed, under-paid Salisbury Police Department and complains that on crimes he reports that “they seldom contact me.” He is aware he could be hurt or killed during these citizen patrols. He said that getting killed at home these days is just as likely.

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