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Fatal Shooting Under Investigation In Hickory (Updated 4:14 a.m., 11/7/22)

A fatal shooting is under investigation. Saturday (November 5) shortly before 3:00 a.m., Hickory Police Officers responded to the 900 Block of Highland Avenue NE after receiving a 911 call from a citizen. The caller was driving on Highland Avenue NE and spotted a vehicle that had driven off the roadway. The caller said there were two males inside the vehicle with gunshot wounds.

Upon arrival, officers found the driver of a 2021 Kia Forte, 42-year-old Eric Rhynhart and the passenger, 20-year-old Khalil Rhynhart injured from gunshot wounds. Catawba County EMS responded and transported Eric Rhynhart to a local hospital and he was last reported to be in stable condition. Khalil Rhynhart was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the initial investigation, it was determined that Eric Rhynhart and Khalil Rhynhart were shot while traveling north in the 500 block of Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard SE by a suspect or suspects that fired multiple rounds into their vehicle. This is an on-going investigation and police are working to identify suspects and determine a motive for the shooting.

Another shooting was reported shortly after 10 am in the 200 block of Third Avenue SE. Multiple shots were fired striking at least two vehicles. Hickory Police say the vehicle owners were not being cooperative with the investigation. No injuries were reported. Hickory Police have not ruled out the two incidents as being related.

Anyone with information regarding this on-going investigation is encouraged to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551 or contact Investigator Johnson directly at 828-261-2619 or tjohnson@hickorync.gov.

[Information from a news release from Hickory Police Department, WACB’s Rick Gilbert contributed to this story]