Local News

Sheriff: Man fires shot during fight, kills friend

Posted January 25, 2010

— A 31-year-old man was aiming at someone else when he shot and killed a friend during a fight at a house party Saturday night, according to Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones.

Around 11:30 p.m., deputies got a call that a gunshot victim was being taken by private vehicle to Person Memorial Hospital, according to Jones. Before he died, the victim, Bruce Moore, 22, was able to tell deputies that he had been shot at a home on James McGee Drive, the sheriff said.

Deputies found two men lying in a ditch outside the house and took them into custody for questioning.

Jones said investigators determined that a fight erupted during a party at the house and that John Banks, 31, pulled out a gun and fired. He missed the person he was aiming at and, instead, hit Moore, said Jones. The person he aimed at was assaulted and beaten.

"There was no indication that the deceased was the intended target," Jones said in a statement Monday. "The deceased was actually a friend of the shooter."

A shot casing was found inside the house, Jones said.

Banks was arrested and charged in Moore's death. The second man taken in for questioning was released without being charged.

Banks was released from prison in September 2009 after serving 14 months for assault by strangulation, assault on a female and felony breaking-and-entering convictions, according to state Department of Correction records.

DOC records also show that his criminal record dates to 1995 and includes nine other assault-related convictions.


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  • justcommonsense Jan 26, 2010

    I wonder whatever happened to the 3 strikes rule??...oh yeah, that only applies occassionally. It's painfully clear that this guy will never make it on the "outside"...didn't even last 6 months for crying out loud. I agree, we must make punishments for violent crimes harsher. What a mess we are in....violent criminals continue to be released time and again. And that's with plenty of material evidence.

  • Just the facts mam Jan 26, 2010

    Same people committing violent crimes over and over...

  • scientistjo Jan 26, 2010

    "So it goes." -Kurt Vonnegut

  • Common Sense Man Jan 26, 2010

    "Charge him under federal law for a weapons violation and he'll serve day for day and won't be let out early in the future."

    Based on his convictions it looks like he'd qualify as an armed career criminal in the federal system. Just possessing the gun could get him 15+ years.

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless Jan 26, 2010

    Dang, he's only been out of prison for 4 months? Wow.

  • littleriver69 Jan 26, 2010

    Yeah, he looks like a law abiding man. I'm sure he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. NOT!

  • rargos Jan 25, 2010

    That's funny : why wasn't he charged with concealed carry without a permit, discharging a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon, etc.....?

    Oh, yeah : we don't enforce the gun laws in this country.

  • midnightclay Jan 25, 2010

    With guys like this they should give them a gun and a bottle of brown liquor when they release them. Then drive them directly to a party with their "friends" where they could shoot each other.
    Bingo ---- if they did it right, we could get rid of 10 or 15 of these scum bags a night, recycle the guns, and give them to next batch that gets out. I'll kick in a few bucks a week towards the hooch. Anybody want to donate?

  • are you kidding me Jan 25, 2010

    This guy keeps making a contributions! Wow!

  • colliedave Jan 25, 2010

    A friend is gone because of his no knowledge in the use of guns.

    quit making the guy a victim. he has a long "rap" sheet and knows full well the dangers of a gun. the guy has no sense of morals nor sense of shame.