Neighbor dispute leads to deadly shooting

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
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OWSLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Police are investigating why an argument between neighbors in Owsley County turned deadly Saturday night.

No one knows exactly what the argument was over or why it started, but friends and family say they felt like it was something that got out of hand.

Ronnie Smith is running on little to no sleep. He spent the night at the hospital where his son, Andy Smith, who goes by Burt, is in stable condition.

Smith says Burt was on his way home when he was shot during a gun fight on Seales Road.

“It tore me all to pieces. He called me and said he was coming up to my house last night, and I waited, then about 15 minutes later I heard some ambulances come by,” said Smith.

Julie Sandlin says Burt had just left her house on his 4-wheeler when, “he goes down the road next thing I here is bang bang bang bang bang.”

She says her neighbor 71-year-old Abner Gabbard shot at Burt from his car, and that's when Burt fired back.

“It scared me to death because within a matter of three minutes all of this happened after I was dropped off, so I’m lucky I didn't get shot,” said Sandlin.

Smith says he is still trying to find out what exactly happened to his son.

“I was scared to death, you know, because I didn't know what happened or what it had come up over or nothing,” said Smith.

Neighbors say Gabbard often complained of 4-wheelers driving past his home, but police are still investigating what caused the shooting.

Gabbard was pronounced dead at the scene. We asked his family for an interview, but they declined.

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