Woman shot, in critical condition; suspect charged

By: Staff report

ROWLAND — A Rowland man is in jail and a woman fighting for her life after a shooting on Friday night near Rowland.

Purcell Leach, 56, of Hubbard Road, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, first-degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and possession of firearm by a convicted felon, according to sheriff’s Maj. Damien McLean. He was placed in the Robeson County jail under a $150,000 secured bond.

According to a statement from McLean, Carmen Way, 34, of Rowland, was taken to an undisclosed hospital and was reportedly in critical condition.

The Sheriff’s Office responded at about 11:18 p.m. Friday to the 400 block of Piedmont Drive after receiving a call of a person shot and found the injured Way.

According to the statement, James Gowans, 70, of Rowland, told investigators he had been held at gunpoint after the shooting and forced to drive Leach away from the scene. Gowans said he was also robbed of $45.

On Saturday at about 9 a.m., Leach contacted Sgt. James Brown and surrendered.

The statement said Leach has an extensive criminal history that dates back to 1984. Leach has served prison time in North Carolina for assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a law enforcement officer, assault on a female, forgery, uttering forged papers, receiving stolen goods, assault with deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and as a sex offender.

Anyone with information is asked to call Maj. McLean or investigator Michael Ellis at 910-671-3170.


Staff report