Craigslist hookup leads to shooting, three hospitalized
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THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Davidson County deputies said a shooting interrupted a late-night encounter at a Thomasville home.
Authorities said an 18-year-old woman responded online to the homeowners Craigslist ad, and shortly after she arrived, chaos ensued.
Deputies arrived around 1:15 a.m. to reports of a robbery and three people were hospitalized with serious gunshot wounds.
The sheriff's office wouldn't confirm or deny if they believe this attempted armed robbery was all part of a setup.
"Quite a coincidence isn't it," Sheriff David Grice said.
But they did say the homeowner was on a dating website when he met this 18-year-old female and had the surprise visitor come to their door wearing a mask and carrying a gun.
"The guy hears a commotion at the door," Grice said. "He goes to the door and there's an individual with a mask trying to push in."
Grice said the masked 26-year-old man forced his way inside and held the 53-year-old homeowner at gunpoint.
"They're fighting at the door, trying to get the door closed and the guy starts shooting through the door," Grice said.
A shot hit the homeowner in the groin. He told detectives he saw the 18-year-old woman leave with the masked man. The homeowner then retrieved his gun and shot both of them as they were getting away. Only the masked man sustained life-threatening injuries.
Investigators said they're treating this incident as an attempted robbery for now, and they are warning the public about the dangers of meeting people online.
"I understand there's some legitimate websites and so forth," Grice said. "And websites that aren't so legitimate. I just have to say that you have to use caution when you're interacting with anybody on the website that you're not face to face."
While all three people remain in the hospital, Grice said his office plans to make arrests in the future.