Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Baxter County, Arkansas

From the Baxter Bulletin of June 6, 2006
One dead, one hurt in shooting

Keith M. Morse was in the middle of his prayers and had just gotten to "deliver us from evil," when he heard a knock on the door. Within minutes, two men started beating Morse with sticks, and at the end of the struggle, a man Morse had never met before was dead on the front porch from several gunshot wounds, while Morse's brother-in-law was at the hospital being treated for a gunshot wound.

Robert A. Vetor, 24, was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. after being taken to Baxter Regional Medical Center with three gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery.

Jesse M. Kepler, 24, had one gunshot wound to his upper left thigh and was taken by a private vehicle to BRMC where he was listed in good condition, according to hospital spokesperson Sharon Miller.

The shooting occurred at approximately 12:12 a.m. Monday at 47 Baxter County Road 5 off U.S. Highway 62/412 west of Mountain Home.

Morse, 23, of 47 CR 5, was taken into custody at the scene by sheriff's deputies pending investigation into the circumstances of the shooting, Montgomery said. Morse was taken to the sheriff's office to be interviewed by investigators. He later was released.

"He started thumping on me and another guy jumped out with a stick and broke it on me," Morse said in an interview with The Bulletin Monday afternoon. "I fell, grabbed my gun, fumbled with it and shot. They were going to kill me."

Morse said he was afraid for his 5-month-old daughter, who was at home with him while his wife was at work.

"After shooting, I passed out," Morse said. "When I came to, I grabbed my cell phone and called 911. The (911) operator told me to put the pistol down."

Morse said there were three men who came to his home. One fled as soon as Morse started firing.

Morse said they knocked on his door, and his brother-in-law Kepler wanted him to come out, but Morse refused. When he finally opened the door, two men who had been hiding — one behind a grill on the front porch and the other at the side of the house — came to the door and starting beating on him with some pieces of wood. Morse said he let them beat on him until he heard one say they were going to kill him.

Morse said he did not know the other two men who were with his brother-in-law.

(Much more)

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