ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -- Family members of Marco Kauffman decided to take him off life support after he was shot in the head earlier this month. Kauffman died Friday afternoon, NBC Charlotte confirmed.
The family made the announcement on their 'Praying for Marco' Facebook page:
They said, "Marcus burst into heaven at 12:52 p.m. Our loss is so painful, but we know this was gain for Marcus. Tears and grief are eased by the gentle hand of God, holding us, carrying us, wiping our tears. 'As for God, His way is perfect.'"
Kauffman was shot during a burglary attempt in front of his home on Chenault Road in Cleveland County. He and his pregnant wife were returning home after spending the Thanksgiving holiday with both in-laws.
Neighbor Samantha Oler said, "It's definitely rough. We were really praying that he would pull through for Maryanne and his unborn little boy. It's definitely got to be hard for them, and I'm sure it hurts everybody in the community that they've got to let him go."
Authorities have arrested four men in connection with the shooting. Following Kauffman’s death on Friday, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office upgraded the charges for two of the suspects. Khari McClelland, 23, and Jaylend Turner, 29, will now be charged with first-degree murder.
A gun was recovered and has been sent to the crime lab to determine if it was used in burglary attempt.
On Wednesday, loved ones posted on the Facebook page, saying that his condition had "worsened drastically." A CT scan showed new damage to his brain, and that doctors have "done everything,” and it "may be time to let go." He was taken off life support Friday morning.
"This morning the test results came back. We are choosing to bless God and let go of our dear Marco, for it seems God is calling him to Himself. Words fail, but through our pain and tears, we bless God."
The department where Kauffman served as a volunteer firefighter plans to host a barbeque benefit dinner next month. Organizers say it will run the Jan. 17 and Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.