Teen Shoots Amendment One Sign
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - A video two teens in Kannapolis posted on YouTube about next Tuesday's vote on Amendment One is getting a lot of attention. A young man holding a shot gun is seen saying, "It's (Amendment One) gonna state that marriage oughta be between one man and one woman, which is how it should be. Somebody decided it'd be a good idea to put this sign near my house, they oughta know not to put stuff like that near my house."
The guy then fires twice at the sign and says, "That's how we deal with it around here."
He has been identified as 17-year-old Alex Wiles. His video has gone viral, appearing on sites including Gawker.com and The Huffington Post.
We went to the Kannapolis home where the video was recorded. A woman who lives there tells us she and her family have no comment.
"You know, I never blame somebody for not believing something, but I blame them for not being rational in the way they approach a discussion about it," says southeast Charlotte resident Michael Van Olden. He is gay and moved to Charlotte from San Francisco five years ago. Van Olden doesn't feel threatened by the video, but he does think it portrays the region negatively. "Yes, it bothers me to come to the South in general and be attacked for who I am," he says.
The Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation immediately. Sheriff Brad Riley says his number one goal was to ensure Wiles wasn't a threat to public safety. "It was clear to us that it was just a poor judgment of a young man who doesn't understand the ramifications," says Riley.
Riley says Wiles will be cited as an adult for discharging a firearm near a residence. The teen is being "extremely cooperative" with authorities. Riley says, "He didn't realize that there's someone on the other side of the issue that could be offended by that."
Wiles may also be cited for destruction of property, but the owner of the sign would have to step forward. The teen behind the camera has not been cited.