Kelford man dies nine days after drive-by shooting

Published 11:40 am Sunday, May 19, 2024

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KELFORD – A murder investigation is underway now that a 68-year-old man shot in his home near here on May 7 has died as the result of his injuries.

Bertie County Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin said that Howard Ward passed away on Thursday of this week at ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville. Ward had been hospitalized there since May 7.

“I personally have known the Ward family for years and Mr. Howard was a strong man,” Sheriff Ruffin said in a press release. “I will continue to pray for his family, including his wife, children, and grandchildren.”

Ruffin said Bertie deputies responded to the 700 block of Blackjack Road shortly before 3 a.m. on May 7 in reference to a drive-by shooting. Deputies were advised that one person (Ward) was struck in the head by a bullet.

Ruffin said it’s unclear at this time of who inside the home was the intended target, but this isn’t the first time that shots have been fired at the residence.

“We do believe that this is a targeted violent incident,” Ruffin noted. “Deputies responded to this same address on April 7 because the residence was struck by gunfire.”

Ruffin added there is evidence to indicate more than one shooter is involved.

“My office will continue to work diligently to solve and find persons responsible for these types of violent incidents in our county,” Ruffin stressed.