Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tennessee: Man Fires In Self-Defense, Kills Attacker

Lookout Mountain, Georgia

From WTVC of June 9, 2009
Man Fires In Self-Defense, Kills Attacker

An act of self-defense leaves a Lookout Mountain, Georgia man dead and a family grieving.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said his deputies tried to stop an on-going, heated family dispute but it was just too late.

"Unfortunate for the victim, the victim's family and the person that had to do the shooting," Sheriff Wilson said.

Harry Lee Derryberry, known as Chuck, was just 45-years-old when his life ended in a field on his family's property in Rising Fawn on Lookout Mountain. He had been shot in the groin with a 12-gauge shotgun. His family called 911 earlier saying they needed help quickly with a domestic dispute that turned violent.

"Upon speaking with the deputy arriving on the scene, he told me he actually heard the gunshot when the gun was fired," Sheriff Wilson explained.

Sheriff Wilson said Brian Lee Walden fired the gun, acting in self-defense and is not being charged. He and several family members were assaulted by Derryberry - the result of an argument over one of his sons.

"It appears that a 62-year-old female victim sustained injuries along with maybe one or two other people, along with the shooter," Sheriff Wilson said.

The family told a story of Derryberry that included a life of alcoholism and depression. The family said Derryberry had threatened his own life and others during a fit of rage Monday evening. They and the sheriff said after Walden was struck in the face Walden got his shotgun and told Derryberry to stay away.

"Pretty well warned the victim, said stay away but he came at him in an aggressive manner," Sheriff Wilson said.

District Attorney Buzz Franklin reviewed the circumstances and evidence, along with the Georgia law and found that Walden's actions were justified.

Derryberry was a father of three children.

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