Principal shooting remains unsolved year later

Principal James Hunt (photo from school web site)
April 20, 2010 4:12:28 AM PDT
A Robeson County school principal who was shot in the face a year ago says he has forgiven the gunman who tried to kill him, but still wants him brought to justice.James Hunt says he will never look or feel the same, but that's not all bad.

"It's really caused me to appreciate all those around me and what God has created."

Hunt says he isn't ready yet to show his face in public, not because of the scars, but because he says whoever tried to kill him remains in the shadows.

"You're always wondering if that was a onetime shot, or that was 'Okay, let's wait and come back and finish,'" Hunt said.

In April 2009, Hunt was ambushed at a country road intersection while on the way to Fairmont Middle School.

A pickup truck came up beside him and a shotgun blast tore his face and hand to pieces. He made it to a Lumberton Hospital, then to Duke Hospital.

Hunt says his survival and recovery are miracles.

"The plastic surgeons will tell you that [they] don't understand why there is not significant scarring on my face," Hunt said. "There again I go back to my belief in God and he has touched me."

A former Marine, Hunt believes his tough stance on discipline and student achievement made him a target. He held an anti-gang rally two days before he was shot. So far no one has been arrested.

Hunt has created a webpage called Who Shot Principal Hunt. He is hoping it and a $6,000 reward would generate tips, but so far it hasn't.

Detectives at the Robeson County Sheriff's Department say their investigation into the shooting is still active. But they admit tips and leads have all but dried up and the trail has drawn cold.

Hunt says he's not ready to return to his job as principal. He still has four more cosmetic surgeries and says he getting better each day.

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