Standoff Ends In Gunfire

A Bell County man is dead after an armed standoff with police ends in gunfire.

Police say 78 year old Errol B. Turner of Pineville threatened neighbors with a shotgun Sunday, before eventually firing at police.

Police say they fired back, leaving neighbors wondering what went wrong.

Neighbors say they knew Errol Turner as Bart, or Big June.

He was a reclusive man who never said too much.

Some neighbors say they'd worried recently about Turner's aging mind, which is why they say they're regretting, how this incident played out.

Paul Allen says he was chopping some firewood with two others Sunday evening when his neighbor, 78 year old Errol B. Turner, approached them with a shotgun.

"I asked him what was wrong, and he just turned and wheeled the shotgun on us, and I told him I was going to call the law," Allen said.

Allen says Turner ran back to his house as police arrived.

But Turner wouldn't cooperate with police.

Neighbors say they heard police begging for a peaceful ending.

"He walked towards the troopers, and discharged his weapon at them, and they returned fire, fatally killing Mr. Turner," Trooper Walt Meachum said.

That's why Paul Allen and other neighbors say that although Sunday's actions surprised them, they felt Turner's age and mind were starting to go.

Allen says he's known Turner since he was four or five years old, and even brought him food for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But Sunday, he says he doesn't even think Turner recognized him at all.

"I hate it for him, I cut his firewood, brought it to him, brought him coal," Allen said.

Neighbor Paul Allen told WYMT that he's actually called the police on Turner several times before, when Turner thought he heard people in the mountains and began shooting at them.

Meanwhile, the three state troopers who ultimately shot Errol Turner, have been put on administrative duty, which is standard state police procedure after any shooting.


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