Shots fired at the family home of a candidate for the US House of Representatives in N. Carolina

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A recent shooting in Hickory, North Carolina, the home of GOP congressional candidate Pat Harrigan’s parents and young children, caused no injuries but put the family in the final weeks of his campaign, Harrigan’s mother, in “tremendous stress” from said on Thursday.

Harrigan, a weapons manufacturer and US Army Special Forces veteran, is running against Democratic Senator Jeff Jackson for an open seat in the US House of Representatives in North Carolina’s new 14th Circuit, based west of Charlotte. The left-leaning district emerged from a protracted district struggle, during which North Carolina redraws its congressional map to reflect the additional seat it was awarded after the 2020 census.

Political analysts say the 2022 map favors Republicans in seven of the state’s 14 districts and Democrats in six, with a toss-up district in the Raleigh suburbs.

Marla Harrigan, 74, told The Associated Press on Thursday that she and husband James Harrigan were watching television on the night of Oct. 18 when a bullet shattered their laundry room window. The Hickory Police Department responded to her 911 call and the police report said the incident involved a firearm.

The congressional candidate’s children, ages 3 and 5, slept in the bedroom directly above the room where the shooting took place, Marla Harrigan said. The bullet came from a densely wooded area and didn’t wake the children.

She said the two children lived with their grandparents in Hickory, about 57 miles northwest of Charlotte, for much of the campaign cycle. They have since been relocated out of state “as a precaution after the shooting,” she said, adding that her son is urging his parents to leave town too.

“It’s just unsettling, especially with the kids there,” Marla Harrigan told the AP. “This campaign is so stressful and we feel so bad for our son because he’s so stressed out about his kids… and now they’re gone, they’re not with their parents and it’s just very, very upsetting.”

Hickory Police Department spokeswoman Kristen Hart said the department had made no arrests in connection with the incident and the investigation was ongoing.

Jordan Shaw, spokesman for the Harrigan campaign, said the Republican nominee also received numerous death threats, which he presented to police to help their investigation.

“My focus is on fixing the economy, bringing prices down and keeping our streets safe,” Harrigan said in a statement Thursday. “And it will take more than a bullet and death threats to dissuade this Green Beret from this mission.”


Hannah Schoenbaum is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that brings journalists into local newsrooms to cover undercover topics. Follow her on Twitter at @H_Schoenbaum.


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