HARRISBURG, N.C. -- Neighbors in the Windsor Forest subdivision in Harrisburg dispute rumors that trees cut down last week led to the shooting that left three residents dead Friday afternoon.
Daniel Kirchner, 42, and Gary Stocks, 64, died in the shooting.
The man that Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley identified as the suspected gunman -- Anthony Hardy, 50 -- is also dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Riley said in a statement that deputies responded to a call about shots fired at 7791 Coachman Court around 4 p.m. Friday. The call came from Kirchner's wife, Lisa, according to the sheriff's statement.
Deputies found Kirchner and Stocks dead in Kirchner's back yard. They heard another shot coming from an adjacent house later identified as Hardy's.
After several hours of negotiating with Hardy, said Riley's statement, deputies heard two more shots from Hardy's house. Members of the Special Response Team entered his home and found Hardy dead.
Neighbors who asked not to be identified said published reports about a dispute over trees that were removed from behind Hardy's home are erroneous. Hardy's home backs up to Tom Query Road, and the removal of trees exposed the back of his house to traffic on the busy road.
A neighbor with a group hanging wreaths at the Windsor Forest entrance Saturday afternoon said the plan to cut down the trees under some power lines along the road had been in the works for a while, and Hardy was "on board" with it.
The neighbor said the Home Owner's Association had agreed to cut down a number of pines under the power lines because they constantly needed trimming.
Kirchner was president of the HOA.
Those who knew him said he was a "great guy" who would do "anything for anyone." They said the same of Stocks, who had recently retired.
Many of the neighbors approached said they were still grieving, and declined to comment out of respect for the family.
Friends of Hardy described him as "gentle soul" and a poet. He belonged to the Charlotte Writers Club. When contacted Saturday, writer's club president David Radavich said Hardy had been selected to read some works at two of the club's events. Like others, he was in shock about the shootings.
Online profiles said Hardy was a pharmacist who owned his own company and did freelance pharmacy work for drug stores and volunteered for community clinics.
Neighbors have set up memorial funds for the families of the two victims. Donations can be made to the Daniel Kirchner Memorial Fund and the Gary Stocks Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo branch.
An email about the fund said both men were "fathers, husbands, and sons that leave behind friends and family."