Shooting at senator's home

August 25, 2009 11:33:53 AM PDT
The State Bureau of Investigation is probing a shooting at the home of a North Carolina state senator.According to our news gathering partner WWAY, investigators say Senator R.C. Soles opened fire after two men tried to kick in his front door.

The 74-year-old Democrat represents Columbus, Pender and Brunswick counties. The shooting took place at his home in Tabor City.

Thomas Kyle Blackburn, 21, was shot in the leg. He's listed in good condition at Loris Community Hospital in South Carolina.

The Star-News of Wilmington reports that another man involved in the incident is B.J. Wright. Various media outlets report Soles knew both men as they have been his legal clients in the past. Soles is also an attorney.

Tabor City Police Chief Donald Dallas said Soles did not call 911 for help, but instead he called him directly on his cell phone after the shooting.

According to a police report from September 2008, this was not the first time Blackburn tried to break into the senator's house.

"We went down [and] responded," Dallas said. "We put two people in jail that day, Jackie Jordan and also a Kyle Blackburn."

He said the same guy who was allegedly shot at the Senator's house on Sunday.

Investigators are questioning all three men to try and understand what happened. So far, no charges have been filed.

Soles told Eyewitness News Monday morning that he's not in a position to make any statement about the incident.

"I'm sorry you made a trip down here to get that comment, but until it's cleared up I wouldn't want to say anything that would prejudice anybody's investigational rights," Soles said.

Soles in the Headlines

This weekend's shooting is not the first time Soles has made headlines. He was already under investigation by the SBI.

About a year ago, a man told a Wilmington television station that Soles tried to molest him when he was 15.

Earlier this month, the now 27-year-old Stacey Scott recanted - telling another television station that he lied about the encounter he said happened about 12 years prior, and was under the influence of drugs when he was interviewed.

Soles talked about the allegation with WWAY last week.

"I'm surprised and yet really not surprised. I've known Stacey a long time and he has lots of mood swings. One day he's just as nice as can be and the next he's not," he said. "I don't want to put him down but he, like so many others, well not necessarily drinking, but would drink and as I think self-medicate and there are times when he is rational and times when he is not."

The Star-News reports even though Scott says he lied about the accusation that launched a police investigation, the inquiry hasn't stopped.

A State Bureau of Investigation spokesperson told the media outlet that the investigation continues, but did not comment further.

And just last month, Soles was also linked to a story about a house fire in Columbus County.

A teenager who escaped the flames said he believed someone set the fire intentionally, because people were jealous of him. Soles bought the teen the house and also a car.

Soles' Background

Soles is the longest serving member of the North Carolina legislature. According to his Web site from his 2008 campaign, he is a former member of the Army Reserve, the current Senate Majority Chairman and a practicing attorney at the Soles, Phipps, Ray and Prince Law Firm.

Soles graduated with a B.A. from Wake Forest University and received his J.D. from UNC Chapel Hill.

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