• 68°

Few clues in shooting, 75-year-old victim clings to life

Nearly two months after her 75-year-old father was shot and left clinging to life on a ventilator, there remain few clues in the case.

“All the leads are exhausted. We’re at a point we need the community’s help,” said Stanly County Sheriff Jeff Crisco, who inherited the case from the previous administration.

Johnnie Osborne

At 2:19 a.m. Oct. 21 someone shot Johnnie Osborne inside his home on Old Cottonville Road near Norwood. Three shots struck Osborne, one in the left hand, one in the left leg and another in the abdomen. The bullet to the stomach struck Osborne’s colon, leaving him in critical condition, according to daughter Tammy Chaney, 45.

Osborne remains hospitalized and unresponsive.

As many as five shots pierced the front door of Osborne’s residence, which is off the road. The shots reportedly came from an enclosed front porch.  There were no bullet holes to the enclosure, suggesting the shots could only have come from the porch, Jaman Smith, a sheriff’s investigator said.

Osborne and Ashley Halstead, a live-in at the residence, reportedly heard someone rattle the front doorknob as if they were trying to come inside. Osborne instructed Halstead to get his gun, but not before the shots hit  Osborne, Smith said.

Gunshots were also discovered in a chair inside the residence, Chaney said.

Robbery does not appear to be a motive. Nothing was taken from the home and there was cash in Osborne’s wallet, Chaney said.   

According to Chaney, Halstead had been living at the Osborne house for about 10 months. She first came there with her boyfriend, but he left in May. With no place to go, Halstead stayed and performed house chores in lieu of rent.

Chaney said her father had no enemies. She described him as giving and friendly, no reason for anyone to hold a grudge.

“No one’s ever had a reason to hurt Dad,” Chaney said. “He is a gentle giant and would help anyone that he could. He does not deserve to be in the condition he is in.”

Her father worked in textiles for 33 years before retiring. Since retirement, he remained active and seldom at home.

“He was always on the go,” she added. “He didn’t like to stay around the house.”

Chaney and sister, Lynn Medlin, are splitting time to be with their injured father. They, along with the Sheriff’s Office, are pleading for the public’s help to catch who shot their father.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-986-3714. They could be eligible for a reward.