LONG BRANCH, WV (LOOTPRESS) – An altercation between two men at a Wyoming County convenience store Saturday led to one arrest and one injury via gunshot.
Stevie Hatfield was witnessed on Saturday afternoon to have become engaged in a verbal dispute at Dukes Grocery in Long Branch with Franky Lester. The altercation was purportedly centered around money, with Hatfield stating that Lester stole thousands of dollars from him.
Following an exchange of curses, the two released one another. Hatfield then walked down the ramp of the location’s porch area, turned, and fired one shot at Lester, which struck his lower right stomach area and exited through the buttocks.
Arriving on the scene at 3:35pm, Cpl. Tyler Sizemore observed the two men awaiting responders – Hatfield stood near his vehicle, while Lester remained sitting on the porch, holding his stomach wound.
The firearm used during the incident, a Taurus .380 caliber semi automatic pistol, had been left on top of a nearby vehicle. The weapon was safely secured, and contained five rounds in the magazine upon recovery.
Cpl. Logan Cook arrived on the scene shortly after, and the two administered first aid to Lester. EMS arrived soon after for the continuation of care.
Following the reading of his Miranda Rights, Hatfield was transported to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department by Cpl. Christian Dedinger, where Hatfield provided a statement on the incident.
In his statement, Hatfield asserted that Lester has been accusing him of stealing thousands of dollars from him for a number of years, and noted that the two were once friends.
Hatfield did admit to having previously been addicted to Oxycodone, and stated that he is a user of Suboxone (buprenorphine.)
Despite admitting to having been both “mad and afraid” at the time of the incident, as well as acknowledging having eschewed the opportunity to remove himself from the situation by leaving the location before any harm was done, Hatfield stated that it was not his intention to kill Lester, only to hurt him.
It was advised by Hatfield that he had purchased the firearm used in the shooting for $50 from a family member several years ago, and now carries it while in Long Branch based on the reputation of the area.
The altercation was witnessed by Ricky Dewayne Morgan, Darron Morgan, and Ricky Lee “Duke” Morgan, the owner of Dukes Grocery.
A written statement provided by Ricky Dewayne Morgan was consistent with both Hatfield and Lester’s respective interpretations of the events that transpired.
Stevie Hatfield has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, as well as malicious wounding.