A bullet was recently fired into a Republican congressional candidate’s parents’ house while his children were sleeping there, prompting his Democratic opponent to pull an attack ad in a midterm climate that has many on guard for political violence.
The shooting, revealed this week, occurred the night of Oct. 18 at a home owned by the parents of Pat Harrigan, a former Green Beret running for a newly created congressional seat in North Carolina, the Associated Press reported.
No one was injured and no one has been arrested in the shooting, AP reported.
Harrigan’s children, ages 3 and 5, had been living with his parents for most of his North Carolina campaign, but are now out of the state following the shooting, Harrigan’s mother told AP.
The FBI is heading the investigation, a local police spokesperson told the Daily Mail.
Harrigan’s mother told the Associated Press she and her husband had been watching TV when a bullet came through a window, fired from a densely wooded area near the home.
She told AP the bullet shattered their laundry room window, and that the children had been sleeping in a room directly above. But Harrigan’s campaign manager told the Carolina Journal the bullet entered only a few feet from where the children were sleeping.
In a tweet Thursday, Harrigan’s campaign said his opponent’s politics “lead to rising inflation, economic ruin, & rampant violence–including political violence. My mission is a better economy, less inflation & safe streets.
“A bullet & death threats aren’t enough to knock this Green Beret off that mission.”
News of the shooting came days after a home intruder looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi beat her husband with a hammer, with a new poll showing nearly nine in 10 Americans are concerned that political divisions are leading to an increased risk of violence.
After the shooting was made public, Harrigan’s opponent, Jeff Jackson, pulled an ad that had shown Harrigan’s own lakefront home, WCCB Charlotte reported. Harrigan’s house is near his parent’s house, where the shooting occurred, his campaign told the Carolina Journal.
The race had grown bitter in recent weeks, the Charlotte Observer reported. Harrigan penned an open letter to Jackson expressing “disappointment in you, this race, and what it has devolved into” as both candidates reportedly leaned into ads attacking each other.
In his letter, Harrigan claimed he had received a “credible death threat” and had taken to wearing a “low-profile bulletproof vest” to major public events.