UPDATE: Victim identified in deadly McMinn County shooting
MCMINN COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)- A McMinn County man is dead after a heated fight led to a shootout. It happened Sunday afternoon at a home in Niota.
Investigators spent the day gathering evidence, trying to figure out what led to the exchange of gunfire. In the meantime, those in the neighborhood are little uneasy about what happened on their quiet street.
"Pretty scary. Bullets can go through houses. You know, sitting in your front yard you could get hit in the head," says Chad Roderick.
Roderick lives just one street over from County Road 258 in Niota, now a crime scene.
"I was in my front and I heard a loud bang, and then four right after that, smaller bangs. It sounded like a smaller gun fire I guess. Then five, 10 minutes later, cops were swarming the neighborhood. I just walked over here and they told me someone got shot," says Roderick.
McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy says a fight between 36-year-old Jason Howard and 39-year-old Jason Watson led to a shootout between the two men.
During the exchange, Howard was shot.
"Other neighbors are telling me that another truck was involved and hit some mailboxes," says Roderick.
A woman driving that truck was rushing Howard to Athens Regional Medical Center, where he later died.
Watson is now a person of interest.
"That's who I know who lives there," says Roderick.
He says he grew up and went to school with Jason Watson.
Police confirm he lives in a trailer located behind what Roderick says is his parent's home. While he waits for all the facts to come out, he is still surprised Watson is tied to the shooting.
"I've never known him to be aggressive or anything. He's a good friend."
The shooting is still under investigation. Sheriff Joe Guy confirms that Howard was shot several times with a small caliber handgun. He also says a rifle was recovered from the pickup truck.
Stay with www.WRCBtv.com for more on this developing story.