An Athens man who was tied up on the floor of a Johnson County rent house and then shot in the back of the head, remains in critical condition in a Fort Worth hospital, according to one of his daughters.

According to Johnson County Sheriff in Cleburne Bob Alford, friends found Randy Whatley, a local auctioneer, tied up in the ransacked home where he was residing on FM 917 about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

He was bleeding from the back of the head but still able to talk some, investigators said.

“It looked like somebody might have hit him with a pipe,” said Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Mike Daudet. “There was some blood, but not a lot.”

Not until Whatley had been placed in a C-Collar and airflighted to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, was it discovered that Whatley had been shot, Daudet said.

Hospital officials would not provide a condition report or even confirm whether Whatley was, indeed, one of their patients on Friday afternoon. But the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, and the man’s oldest daughter, 28-year-old Amanda Whatley did.

The Sheriff’s Depart-ment also revealed that it took an X-ray to discover that Whatley had been shot, and that a medium-caliber bullet was lodged in his head.

Investigators said the shot came from a pistol. “It was definitely some kind of pistol,” Daudet said. “If it had been a rifle, he’d be dead.”

Asked if Whatley may have been shot more than once, Daudet said, “At this time, we are only aware of one bullet.”

Daudet said investigators are still trying to determine whether the shooting was the result of an interrupted burglary, or a robbery; whether the assailants knew the man, or whether it was a random act.

Daudet did confirm that there was no forced entry into the house.

Asked what the assailants used to tie up Whatley, Daudet said, “We’re not going to reveal what was used in tying him up. That’ll come out later.”

Authorities have questioned two witnesses who arrived at the scene after the shooting, but they aren’t disclosing any information about what may have been said or what may have been found at the crime scene.

All of the physical evidence has been sent to the Department of Public Safety Lab in Austin for further examination.

The man’s daughter, Amanda Whatley, said the next few days will be critical in her father’s recovery.

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