Local News

Three charged in target-practice shooting death

Posted January 29, 2010

— Three people have been charged in the September death of a Vance County man who was killed by a stray bullet as he walked near his home, authorities said Friday.

John Thomas Satterwhite, 85, a World War II veteran and father of five, was found dead on a private path near his Tobacco Road residence on Sept. 4.

The Vance County Sheriff's Office determined that three people had been shooting at targets near the area where Satterwhite was walking, and a stray bullet hit him in the upper torso and killed him.

A grand jury indicted John Randy Woodlief, 30, of Kittrell, Darryl Craig Harting, 43, of Youngsville, and Dennis Matthew McDermott II, 29, of Rocky Mount, on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

McDermott hadn't been arrested as of Friday.


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  • Ouroboros Jan 29, 2010

    Guns definitely do not kill people. But the bullets surely do...

  • workingforthosethatwont Jan 29, 2010

    Charging a person criminally requires someone to be able to truthfully say they saw the person fire the shot, but a civil lawsuit requires a little less proof and hits them hard in the $$$$. That will get their attention.

  • veyor Jan 29, 2010

    More shooting ranges instead of trains.

  • DeaconBlues Jan 29, 2010

    Rule number 4 of firearms safety:
    "Always be aware of your target and what is BEYOND it"

    For those who are unfamiliar, rules 1,2 and 3 are:

    1)Always treat a firearm as if it were loaded.
    2)Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to destroy.
    3)Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

  • Wolfheel Tarpack Jan 29, 2010

    We own several guns, but have the brains to use common sense and safe handling tactics. I believe in the freedom of the right to bear arms. Nonetheless, with such careless people more restrictions need to be made around entertainment, practice and hunting within so many yards of areas that contain certain densities of people -- whether driving on busy roads, near shopping areas or residential areas -- not just city limits.

  • bathroom_monkey Jan 29, 2010

    My stepfather almost got hit with a stray bullet while watching tv in his house! If he had been one foot over it would have came down from the ceiling and hit him in the head. Police determined that it was a 9mm bullet, no one was arrested or charged.

  • Redneck Fun Jan 29, 2010

    I love my guns, and have no problem with someone trying to better or maintain their shooting skills, but we have to BE SAFE. Not much info in this article to start saying they could have or should have done this. We don't know what happened!! I have many friends that have built a very nice safe shooting range in their yards, but you have to have the proper room and resources. I would hope if they were shooting it was done a shooting range, but many are still too ignorant to learn and use ALL safety precautions when using firearms. I hope the truth is revealed and the punishment or no punishment fits the facts of the case.

  • indrdw Jan 29, 2010

    Something does need to be done with target shooters and hunters that choose to sport at the expense of others safety. I live in a rural neighborhood and am afraid something is going to happen when I see and hear these people. I do not let my Grandson outside when I hear the shooters.

  • larky74406 Jan 29, 2010

    Guns don't kill people, but it is very difficult to shoot someone without one.

  • Wingman Jan 29, 2010

    When will our laws start to protect innocent families from these "target" shooters? We live in Franklin County and last year we had trouble with stray bullets from a neighbor who was target practicing and we had the police out 3 times asking them to move their target. They ended up shooting our house. The bullet hit just inches from our office window and only a few feet away from our sons room. We had to push for charges to be filed and when it went to court they got off because we couldn't say we saw them pull the trigger! How many people have to be killed before our law enforcement starts to crack down on these people?