BY DEBBIE PAGE
Troutman Town Council members expressed concern and sympathy after a shooting incident on Mills Avenue on Saturday night.
Zachary Craig, 20, of Charlotte and Alexander Hipple, 18, of Mooresville were traveling in Craig’s vehicle on Mills Avenue when they were shot at about 8:25 p.m. After the shooting, Craig drove to the Food Lion at 520 North Main Street and sought help, with Troutman Police Department, Troutman Fire and Rescue, and Iredell County EMS personnel responding.
Hipple was pronounced dead at the scene. Craig was transported to a regional medical center, where he was treated and released.
The TPD and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the shooting.
Although Police Chief Josh Watson told the council that he cannot share details about the ongoing investigation, he said police discovered almost immediately that no threat existed to the community.
He added that social media rumors and speculation only compound the hurt of the families affected by this tragedy.
Watson expressed his confidence that the community is not in danger, adding that his spouse and children are going about their normal activities.
Any time a danger exists to the community, Watson noted that the department immediately notifies community members and takes any necessary precautions, including locking down schools.
Councilman George Harris was at Food Lion with his grandchildren as the injured people arrived and said the aftermath was upsetting to them all. He commended the professionalism of the TPD and their kindness to reassure his traumatized grandchildren.
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Henkel mourned the loss and condemned the presence of weapons in irresponsible hands that led to this tragedy. Though he expressed that Troutman is a safe community with a great police department, Henkel added that no place is immune to violence.
Mayor Teross Young asked that community members avoid spreading misinformation on social media, which only causes confusion and wastes law enforcement’s time and resources.
Council members praised the installation of flashing lights at several crosswalks in the town. Town Manager Ron Wyatt said several more are already on order for additional locations.
He also said that traffic calming devices will be installed on Eastway Drive and on Brown and West Avenue in the next few weeks.
In response to council member Eddie Nau’s inquiry, Town Planner Lynne Hair said that daily fines are being imposed on Mad Monkey Garage after the business’s failure to remove its noncompliant mural that violates Troutman’s Unified Code of Ordinance.
The building owners are supportive of the town’s position and upset the mural was installed, according to Wyatt, but the business owner is threatening legal action.
REGULAR MEETING AGENDA
At its regular meeting on Thursday night, the council will recognize Human Resources Director Lou Borek as Town of Troutman Employee of the Month.
The council will also consider:
♦ A rezoning request by Peter & Chunbei Schenone for 0.53 acres at 427 N. Main Street from Office Institution to Central Business.
♦ A staff text amendment request for Variances & Special Use Permits to be extended from one to two years.
♦ A staff text amendment request regarding Board of Adjustment decisions and noticing to match the requirements of State Statutes 160D.
♦ Adoption of the proposed Troutman Mobility Plan.
♦ Approval of an ordinance authorizing infrastructure development reimbursement agreements.
♦ Approval of the Smith Village Amenity Center façade review (Crosstie Lane).
♦ Approval of the Food Lion review of amended elevations to include awning, increased glass on front exterior elevation, and rooftop screening (155 Crosstie Lane).
♦ Approval of Troutman Storage façade review (S. Main Street and Barkdale Road).
♦ An amendment to the Town of Troutman Schedule of Fees for water meters and fees.
♦ Setting annexation hearing requests for nearly 39 acres at 140 Royal Oaks Drive by Sondra Tilton for Sunbeam Property LLC and for just about 2 acres on Maple Street and 0.75 acres at 681 South Eastway Drive by Martin Ray Holdings on December 14.