Archive for July, 2006

July 31, 2006

Madisonville, Tennessee

From the Monroe County Advocate & Democrat of July 31, 2006

Man Killed During Family Fight

A family argument that apparently simmered most of the day ended with one man dead Thursday night.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Detective Mike Morgan said Steve Wilson, 47, Old Tellico Highway, Madisonville, shot and killed Doyle Graham, 35, when Graham came to Wilson’s house just before 10:30 p.m. to continue the argument.

“We’re not really sure what got all this started,” Morgan said, “but according to witnesses and Wilson’s statement, Graham came to the house with a .38 handgun and was going to shoot Wilson, but the gun malfunctioned and wouldn’t fire.”

Wilson told Morgan that Graham didn’t lower his gun, so Wilson, fearing for his life, returned fire with a .22 pistol, striking Graham in the chest and killing him.

“Everybody in the house was related,” Morgan said. “The two men were brothers-in-law. I guess you could say it was a family fight gone horribly wrong.”

There were no charges filed in the incident, though Morgan said the case would be taken before the grand jury.

“We’re going to get all the lab work back,” Morgan said, “finish all our interviews and then let the DA’s office see what the grand jury thinks about it.”

In an odd side bar to the shooting, some methamphetamine was found close to the scene, but not at the scene.

“We did find some meth,” Morgan said. “We don’t know who it belonged to or where it came from. There’s no indication the fight was over meth or that it came from somebody at the house.”

Court records show Graham had a series of previous arrests, including one in April 1998 when he pleaded guilty to an attempted first-degree murder charge from the Madisonville Police. He was convicted of a lesser charge of aggravated assault.

He also had previous arrests for reckless endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.


July 30, 2006

Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

From the Ann Arbor News of July 30, 2006

Ypsilanti Twp. home invasion erupts into gun battle that wounds 4

Sheriff’s deputies arrest 2 men,
teen and woman afterward

A home invasion in Ypsilanti Township early Saturday escalated into a gunfight that left four people shot, including both residents and two intruders.

Two of the four were treated for serious wounds. The other two were treated for minor injuries at local hospitals. All four were reported in stable condition Saturday.

Shortly after the shooting, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and a male teenager with gunshot wounds who had been taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Deputies also arrested a man and a woman who allegedly dropped them off.

All four are in custody, and face arraignment on multiple charges in connection with the shooting.

Sheriff’s Department Commander Dave Egeler said he believes the residents of the house knew the intruders. None of their names were released Saturday. The case remains under investigation. Egeler said deputies were called to a home in the 2000 block of Ide Street at 1:50 a.m. He said the gunfight erupted after several subjects broke into the house and tried to rob the residents at gunpoint.

The occupants of the house, a 19-year-old man and a 40-year-old man, were taken to the University of Michigan Hospital where the younger man was treated for a non-life-threatening injury. The 40-year-old was treated for a serious gunshot wound.

July 28, 2006

Tyler, Texas

From July 27, 2006 KLTV channel 7:

What seemed like a normal morning at an East Texas barber shop, ended with gunfire. Just before 10’clock today, police say a man entered Ervin’s Barber Shop on Old Noonday Road and asked for a haircut. He then pulled out a gun, demanded money from the barber and threatened to kill him.

Demetrius Ervin has worked out of his barber shop for almost seven years. He says he always keeps a gun in a drawer at the shop, but before today, he’s never had to use it. Demetrius Ervin says he works in a quiet neighborhood, a place where everyone knows each other. The man who entered his shop this morning, however, Ervin says he’s never seen before.

“I thought he was just a guy off the street,” said Demetrius Ervin who was robbed at gunpoint. “He said he needed a haircut, and I said cool, how do you want it cut.” The man sat down in this chair. Ervin says he put a cape around him and then turned to his sink to get a comb.

“When I turned around he had a gun on me,” said Ervin. “He told me to get on the floor. He didn’t say it nicely, but he said get on the floor. I got on the floor. He said if you move I’m killing you, so I said I’m not going to move, take what you want.” The man continued to yell at Ervin, as he reached in Ervin’s pocket and stole Ervin’s wallet. The robber then took off down the street. That’s when Ervin grabbed his handgun out of the drawer and fired.

“I was trying to hit him,” said Ervin. “He robbed me. He pulled out on me, pulled his gun at me and said he was going to kill me, yeah I fired at him.” Ervin says nothing like this has ever happened to him before.

“My eyes are more open now because it’s like I’m afraid now because you never know who’s coming in,” said Ervin. A lesson, Ervin’s says he learned the hard way. Ervin was not sure if he actually shot the robber, but police believe the robber is not wounded. Ervin says he had about $75.00 in his wallet along with several credit cards and his social security card. The barber was able to give a good description of the robber. He’s a black male, about 6’1″, medium build, has a mustache and tattoos on both arms. He was wearing a dark blue shirt, light blue shorts, and gray air Jordan tennis shoes. He was also still wearing his barber shop cape, that had red and white stripes on it when he left.

July 28, 2006

Henrico County, Virginia

From the July 25, 2006 Richmond Times-Dispatch:

A Henrico County man shot his son in the leg inside their home yesterday after the son demanded money and forced his way inside the father’s bedroom, police said.

The 30-year-old son was taken to VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The shooting occurred about 1:45 a.m. at the family’s home in the 4900 block of Jones Road, off Springfield Road.

The son “started banging on a locked bedroom door,” said Henrico police spokesman Sgt. Doug Parker. During that time he was demanding money, police said, and eventually broke in the door.

Parker said the father retrieved a weapon and shot his son in the leg.

The son, whose name was not released, was arrested on outstanding grand-larceny warrants unrelated to yesterday’s disturbance, Parker said.

The father has not been charged in the shooting.

Want to make any bets that the son has a drug problem?

July 28, 2006

Sacramento, California

From the Sacramento Bee of July 27, 2006

Man arrested in shooting death won’t be prosecuted

A man, initially identified as a 17-year-old, who was arrested in connection with a shooting death last weekend in Antelope will not be prosecuted, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office reported Friday.

“This was not a prosecutable case,” said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney John O’ Mara.

Sheriff deputies arrested Dilver Portillo, 24, after Louis A. Argueta, 33, of Sacramento was shot about 7 p.m. Saturday in the Longspur Way home of his estranged wife. Argueta and his wife were in the process of divorcing.

Portillo, initially described by deputies as a 17-year-old, was dating Argueta’s wife.

According to investigative reports, a fight broke out when Argueta showed up at his wife’s home with his new girlfriend in tow. The divorcing couple had been arguing over who should be making payments on a Ford Expedition that was registered in both their names, O’Mara said.

At some point, Portillo obtained a 40-caliber handgun that Argueta’s wife had bought for protection. He apprently shot Argueta in self-defense, O’Mara said. Argueta had made death threats and he had a “long history” of domestic violence, the prosecutor said.

At the time, there were at least five children and five adults in the Antelope home, deputies said.

The shooting occurred after someone had taken the keys out of the SUV, O’Mara said.

Deputies were called to the scene by a neighbor who reported hearing several gunshots and then hearing a woman cry out that someone had been shot.

When officers arrived Argueta was found lying on the front porch. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

July 28, 2006

Morgantown, North Carolina

From Charlotte’s of July 27, 2006

Police Say Deadly Shooting May Have Been Justified

Burke County investigators are trying to determine whether a shooting that left a man dead was in self defense.

Authorities said they were called to Wakefield Avenue west of Morganton just after 1:30 a.m. Thursday. They pronounced 30-year-old Neal Michael Cochran dead on a bedroom floor in the home he shared with his wife, Amy, and their two children. He had been shot multiple times, deputies said.

Family members said they are surprised that police say Amy Cochran is responsible.

“She’s a friendly person, has a lot of friends. No, this ain’t like her,” her mother, Debbie Wooly said.

Deputies said they found Cochran at a neighbor’s house suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. She was taken to Grace Hospital by paramedics.

Preliminary talks with authorities revealed that Cochran came home around 12:30 a.m. and was confronted by her husband, deputies said.

Detective Sgt. Tim Corriveau of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office said Neal Cochran began physically assaulting her, and a neighbor witnessed the abuse. He said there was also evidence of a struggle inside the home, which led to the bedroom where Amy Cochran got a handgun.

“It appears that Mrs. Cochran was shot in the leg while she and her husband struggled over the gun,” Corriveau said.

Then, Neal Cochran was shot to death.

Fortunately, the neighbor who was present when the fighting began took the couple’s 4- and 7-year-old children out of the home before things escalated, police said.

Wooly said her daughter is a good mother, but her marriage had problems – problems that police were aware of.

Authorities had been called to the house at least three times before. In October 2004, Amy Cochran obtained a domestic violence prevention order against her husband. Then, just two weeks ago, she took out a warrant against her husband for assault on a female. Investigators said she allowed him to return to the residence.

Detectives from both the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office spent more than seven hours at the crime scene trying to determine the circumstances of the shooting. So far Cochran has not been charged in the shooting. Deputies will take the case to the district attorney to determine any charges.

Maj. David Pendly of the sheriff’s office said the evidence collected Thursday should help investigators and the district attorney’s office determine whether the case could be considered justifiable homicide.

July 27, 2006

Cedar City, Utah

From Salt Lake City’s Deseret News of July 27, 2006

Deadly shooting in RV probed

Police say man forced way into motor home

Police are investigating a deadly shooting inside an RV parked outside a Wal-Mart store in Cedar City.

Police said about 9:47 p.m. Tuesday, a man had knocked on the door of an RV that was parked overnight in the store parking lot. A family of four from Cane Coral, Fla., was inside.

Investigators said the man forced his way into the motor home.

“The tourists inside were in fear for their life,” Sgt. Jerry Womack told the Deseret Morning News on Wednesday. “There was a scuffle inside the motor home and the man shot (the intruder) in the head with a shotgun.”

On Wednesday, detectives were questioning the family, who had been traveling through the area and stopped for the night.

Womack said detectives were looking into whether alcohol was involved in the confrontation.

“We believe he (the shooting victim) might have been intoxicated,” he said. An autopsy was being performed on Wednesday.

Police identified the dead man as Steven Stubbs, 26, of Cedar City.

Stubbs has been convicted of speeding, alcohol violations and interfering with a police arrest, according to records in Cedar City’s 5th District Court.

The Cedar City Police Department said Wednesday it was investigating if the use of deadly force is justified. The Iron County Attorney is expected to make a final determination.

From the St. George Spectrum of September 13, 2006

No charges filed in shooting case

Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett decided Tuesday to not file charges in a July 25 shooting that occurred in a Wal-Mart parking lot leaving a 26-year-old Cedar City man dead.

After reviewing the case, Garrett determined the force used in the incident was justifiable, and that Carl Coltellino acted in self-defense.

“We just looked at the facts in the case and what the law requires,” he said.

The decision comes seven weeks after Steven Stubbs was shot in the head with a shotgun outside the Coltellino’s motor home.

The Coltellino family – Carl, Tracy and their two young girls – was traveling through Cedar City on vacation from Florida and decided to spend the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

“It’s a tragic case,” Garrett said. “I feel bad for all the people involved.”

Stubbs allegedly knocked on the door of the motor home, and, after entering it, wouldn’t leave.

“He wanted to go south,” said the Florida mom, Tracy Coltellino, at the time of the incident.

But the Coltellinos tried to make Stubbs leave by shouting and shoving him, she said.

And, after the 26-year-old Cedar City resident wouldn’t leave, Carl pulled out a 12-gauge shotgun, which Stubbs allegedly tried to take from the Florida man.

“The fact that he tried to take the gun from him in his home is a pretty key factor,” Garrett said.

The report that Stubbs allegedly entered the motor home without permission was another important factor in determining justifiable force.

“There was really nothing that suggested otherwise,” Garrett said. “He had two daughters, and he was trying to protect him and his family as well.”


July 27, 2006

Grand Junction, Colorado

From the Grand Junction Sentinel of July 27, 2006

Man who shot burglar not facing any charges

A man who broke into a Grand Junction home and was shot by someone inside the home faces burglary, menacing and assault charges, while the man who shot him will not be charged.

Authorities said Michael Craig, 27, shot Michael Ball, 28, twice in the chest in self-defense on July 17.

Ball is suspected of second-degree burglary, a felony, and two misdemeanors, menacing and third-degree assault.

Ball allegedly broke into the home at 2995 Pinyon Ave. and began assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Myranda Clifton, 24, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

Craig told investigators he heard someone trying to break into the home, so he retrieved a handgun and told Clifton to call 911, according to the arrest affidavit.

Clifton was on the phone with dispatch when Craig confronted Ball with the gun when Ball entered the home, the affidavit said.

Ball ignored Craig and went into Clifton’s room, where he punched her in the head, according to the affidavit.

Craig followed Ball, telling him to stop, at which point Ball advanced on Craig, who shot Ball twice, according to the affidavit.

Clifton was on the phone with 911 throughout the event, and it was recorded, according to the affidavit.

July 27, 2006

Hardeeville, South Carolina

From Savanah’s of July 26, 2006

Store Owner Fires Gun for Her Safety

Another dangerous encounter for the owners of a Hardeeville package store resulted in a gunshot Friday.

It’s the second time in just over a month they had to fire. On June 19th, Greene’s Package Shop worker Herb Tolar was robbed at gunpoint and then fired at the man as he ran away. Back then, Tolar told WSAV, “I thought he was going to kill me. So I was going to kill him. I pursued him outside and I shot to kill. If I see him again, I will blow him away.”

And now, the same store, which is on Highway 17 in Hardeeville was the site of another shooting. This time, it was the wife who fired.

“They knew I meant business,” Florence Tolar said, as she remembered the Friday morning encounter.

Her size and sweet demeanor don’t keep her from standing her ground.

“I kept my position just in case those boys came out. I had every opportunity to shoot them,” she said.

She chose to fire her gun at the floor as she was confronted by four young men who were fleeing from police Friday. It’s a choice she says could have easily turned fatal.

“I had to make the decision,” she said. “And I’ll tell you- if those boys would have been a little bit taller, a little bit bigger, I would have shot them. And I would have killed them.”

“My wife really surprised me, “ Herb Tolar said. “I’m really proud of her that she did what she did.”


July 26, 2006

Floyd County, Kentucky

From Lexington’s of July 25, 2006

Man Accused Of Murder Is Cleared

A Floyd County man accused of murder is cleared after a grand jury did not hand down an indictment.

Police say former Luv Homes Manager Mike Kirk shot and killed a man at the dealership in March of last year.

Kirk claimed the man, Ronald Dillon, was breaking into the business.

Kirk said Dillon told him he had a gun, but police didn’t find a gun on Dillon after the shooting.

The grand jury report says they think Kirk shot Dillon out of self-defense because he believed his life was in danger.