Shootout stems from drunken argument

Published 5:18 pm Monday, October 18, 2010

A night of drinking turned into a shootout, sending one man to the hospital and jail, according to Sheriff Kenny Harden.

Vernon Reaves, 51, was arrested for shooting into an occupied dwelling or vehicle, a felony offense. Reaves is currently out on a $20,000 bond.

Harden said deputies received a call Oct. 14 in reference to a subject under the influence who was causing a commotion and refused to leave.

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“While en route, the caller called back to saying that shots were being fired into and out of the house,” Harden said.

When deputies arrived, Harden said, they cleared the scene, recovering two weapons, a handgun and a shotgun. Reaves had been struck in the hand with bird shot that had been fired from inside the house, penetrating the wall.

After further investigation, Harden said that it was determined that the two persons involved were actually friends and had been drinking that night together. The man inside the house took Reaves keys away, offering to let him sleep on his couch instead of driving home drunk.

“The man inside locked Reaves out, and Reaves started to honk his horn,” Harden said. “After a while, he grabbed a gun from his truck and started shooting.”

Six shots were fired in all, Harden said. Reaves was treated for a gunshot wound to the hand and released before being taken into police custody.

Harden said Reaves had a be on the lookout put on him from earlier in the evening, after deputies receiving reports that Reaves was driving around drinking with his gun.

The owner of the house was deemed to be acting in self-defense and was not charged with any crime.