Both teenagers involved in Wednesday’s shooting in the 2800 block of Barton Road east of St. Clair are telling a similar story of what happened, a Franklin County Sheriff’s detective said on Friday morning.
The name of the victim has been released by the sheriff’s office. He is 17-year-old Dylan Abernathy, of Owensville. The name of the man who authorities say admitted to pulling the trigger officially has not been released, but The Missourian was told he lived with his father at the Barton Road residence located a short distance north of the Highway 30-Highway 47 South intersection.
Sheriff’s Detective Matt Corbett told The Missourian on Friday morning that Abernathy had been staying with the 18-year-old since Monday evening, and the two got into an argument early Wednesday afternoon. The argument increased in intensity, leading to the shooting.
“Both stories are very similar,” Corbett said. “They were fighting inside the house, and it moved outside. The shooter went back inside to get the gun hoping the victim (Abernathy) would stay outside. The victim kept pounding on the door, and the shooter opened it. The victim reached for the gun, and the shooter thought he was going to take it away, so he shot him in the leg.”
The gun was a .12-gauge shotgun, authorities said.
Before the shooting, while the argument still was inside, the 18-year-old called 911.
Sheriff Gary Toelke’s original press release from Wednesday afternoon stated that deputies were dispatched to Barton Road at 1:33 p.m. Wednesday for a peace disturbance.
On Friday morning, the sheriff confirmed it was the 18-year-old and not the victim who called 911. The caller said a subject was tearing up the inside of the residence.
“The shooting took place between the time we were first called and the time we got there, which wasn’t very long,” Toelke said. “Originally, we were told there was a scuffle inside the house.”
St. Clair Fire District and ambulance personnel also were called to the scene.
When law enforcement arrived, they found Abernathy lying on the ground in the front yard of the residence suffering from the gunshot wound. The second subject, identified at the time as an 18-year-old white male living at the residence, came out of the home and told deputies he had shot the subject.
As of press time Friday, no charges had been filed.
Corbett told The Missourian on Friday morning that the sheriff’s office has completed its investigation and will deliver its report to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks for review.
Toelke said he was not sure what charges would be filed.
After the incident, Abernathy was transported by St. Clair Ambulance to Mercy Hospital St. Louis. A St. Clair emergency responder at the scene on Wednesday said Abernathy appeared to be stable, but that the wound looked serious.
Corbett said he talked to Abernathy on Thursday. He remains in Mercy Hospital St. Louis, but is expected to be released within a few days.
“He was conscious and alert on Thursday when I talked to him,” Corbett said, adding that Abernathy had to undergo surgery after the shooting.
Deputy Sgt. Travis Blankenship told The Missourian at the scene on Wednesday that the 18-year-old man who confessed to the shooting immediately was detained. He was taken into custody for investigation of assault, Toelke said.
The 18-year-old’s father was not home at the time of the incident, Toelke said.