Political Violence: Shot Fired at GOP Candidate's Family Home

Pat Harrigan's young daughters were sleeping when a bullet smashed through his parents' house in Hickory, N.C.

November 4, 2022

What happened: Several days before President Joe Biden accused his Republican opponents of condoning political violence, someone fired a bullet into the family home of a GOP congressional candidate in North Carolina.

The incident, first reported on Thursday, occurred on Oct. 18. Pat Harrigan, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran running in the state's new 14th Congressional District, was not present when a bullet smashed through the laundry room window of the Hickory, N.C., residence where his parents and young daughters were staying.

The Associated Press reports:

Marla Harrigan, 74, told The Associated Press on Thursday that she and her husband James Harrigan were watching television down the hall when a bullet shattered their laundry room window on the night of Oct. 18. The Hickory Police Department responded to their 911 call and noted in the police report that the incident involved a firearm.

The congressional candidate’s children, ages 3 and 5, were asleep in the bedroom directly above the room where the shooting occurred, Marla Harrigan said. The bullet came from a densely wooded area and did not wake the kids.

She said the two children have been living with their grandparents in Hickory, about 57 miles northwest of Charlotte, for much of the campaign cycle. They have since been relocated out of state "out of an abundance of caution after the shooting," she said, adding that her son is urging his parents to leave town as well.

"It’s just disconcerting, especially with the children there," Marla Harrigan told the AP. "This campaign is so stressful, and we feel so badly for our son because, you know, he’s terribly stressed about his children ... and now they’re gone, they’re not with their parents and it’s just very, very disruptive."

Police are still investigating the incident.

Why it matters: Biden, journalists, and other Democrats have repeatedly blamed Republicans for the rise in politically motivated violence—while ignoring acts of violence against Republicans.

The president's speech this week cited the January 6 uprising and the recent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D., Calif.) husband by a nudist lunatic, but did not mention the attempted assassination of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh or the murder of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson in September. The alleged perpetrator, Shannon Brandt, told police he ran over the teen with his car following a "political argument" because he thought Ellington was "part of a Republican extremist group."

Go deeper: Deadly Democrats: The Crime Wave No One's Talking About