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Sheriff: Couple beaten, kidnapped by group in Caldwell County

Eight people are facing charges after deputies said they assaulted a couple, tied them up and shot one of the victims multiple times.
Credit: Caldwell County Sheriff's Office
(Clockwise from top left): Bobby Dean Bowlin, Hunter Dean Aungst, Elka Mackenna James, Anthony Scott Bumgarner, Devan Alan Souther, Tristan Douglas Coffey, Adam Solis Hernandez, Tabitha Renee Bumgarner.

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — Eight people were arrested after Caldwell County deputies said they kidnapped a couple, blindfolded them and shot multiple shots at them. 

One of the victims told investigators that he and his girlfriend were at an acquaintance's house Tuesday morning when a group of people assaulted them. The couple was then bound and blindfolded before they were driven to another location and thrown on the ground. The man said the suspects fired multiple shots at him and his girlfriend. 

The man was then dropped off at Caldwell Memorial Hospital with two gunshot wounds. Caldwell County authorities said the man was flown to a hospital in Winston-Salem and is stable. 

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Detectives interviewed the man's girlfriend, whose story matched his about what happened. She said after the shooting and the suspects left, she walked to the road and was able to flag down a driver who took them to the hospital. Investigators determined the shooting happened on an abandoned property along Hood's Creek Road in Hudson. They were able to match the location to a description given by the victims. 

Deputies served a search warrant at a home on Joplin Road, where all of the suspects were. During the search, deputies found a gun that matched what the victims said was used during the assault. 

The following people were charged wih the following by Caldwell County detectives: 

  • Bobby Dean Bowlin: Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, attempted murder and first-degree kidnapping
  • Hunter Dean Aungst: Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, attempted murder and first-degree kidnapping 
  • Elka Mackenna James: Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, attempted murder and first-degree kidnapping 
  • Anthony Scott Bumgarner: Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, attempted murder and first-degree kidnapping 
  • Tabitha Renee Bumgarner: First-degree kidnapping
  • Adam Solis Hernandez: First-degree kidnapping
  • Tristan Douglas Coffey: First-degree kidnapping, failure to appear/Indecent Exposure
  • Devan Alan Souther: First-degree kidnapping

Additional charges are expected pending the outcome of the investigation. 

Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.  

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.