Deputies: Shootout over dog ends with man dead
Published: Sep. 18, 2011 at 3:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM EDT
WATERLOO, SC (WYFF) - An argument over a dog ended with shots exchanged and one man dead on Thursday, deputies said.
Laurens County deputies were called to Cochise Drive in Waterloo at about 5 p.m.
Judy Carson, 65, called 911 and said that her neighbor was threatening to shoot her brother's dog and was calling the dog over to his house so he could shoot it. The dispatcher said two shots were heard during the call.
Carson got off the phone, and called back and said, "The neighbor shot at my brother and my brother shot back," according to the dispatcher.
She told the dispatcher that her brother, 60-year-old Johnny Lever, saw the other man fall in tall grass and they did not intend to check on him.
Deputies said that they found Samuel Thomas, 62, dead in between the two homes. Deputies said that Thomas had a gun in his hand and his finger was on the trigger.
Neighbors said that Thomas' body was on his own property, but police have not confirmed that.
Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols said Thomas was shot one time in the left side.
Friday morning, Lever said to News 4: "I did what I had to do," but he had no other comment.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Laurens County Sheriff's Office are investigating.
Sheriff Ricky Chastain said, "We're still gathering information, but certainly there appears to have been a history of disputes and other activity going on in the neighborhood."
Nichols said, "I find this very hard -- to realize that a life has been lost over a dispute like this between neighbors."
Deputies said the solicitor's office will determine whether charges should be filed.
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