Local News

Sheriff: Man fires shot during fight, kills friend

Posted January 25, 2010 1:59 p.m. EST
Updated January 25, 2010 4:05 p.m. EST

— 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.