Local News

Child Fatally Shot in Johnston County

Posted May 15, 1998

— Johnston County law officers and the SBI are investigating the fatal shooting of a child Sunday morning at a home on Heath Road.

Law officers said 5-year-old Linwood Martin died at the scene, of a shotgun wound to the chest. Martin's mother Melissa was out, and her boyfriend was mowing the front lawn. Donald "PeeWee" Guin told officers he had just come in for a glass of water, the children seemed fine, and he went back outdoors. Moments later, the gunshot rang out.

Investigation continues into the circumstances of the shooting.

Also in the house were an older brother and an older sister of Linwood.

The house is owned by Guin.

Neighbors Johnny and Lynn Spoon said the shooting happened in an instant. Johnny Spoon happened to be outdoors at his house as the tragedy unfolded, and says Guin was called back into the house by one of the children.

Spoon says he saw Linwood "laying there, and I can't get it out of my mind. I can't get it gone."

Lynn Spoon said many households have guns, and that you think people have them locked up.

As word of the event spread through the neighborhood, people gathered at the Guin house to offer support and sympathy, and to answer the inevitable questions of other children.

"(The children) don't understand exactly what's going on," said one neighbor. "They're asking if he's in the hospital or if he's alive."

Charges could be filed in this case under a state that law requires owners to keep guns locked in a cabinet, or to have a gun lock that prevents the weapon from being fired. Investigators aren't saying who might be charged.

Guin's brother said Donald Guin is the father of "two little girls of his own. He's gun-safe."

The shooting occurred about 10:45 a.m.

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