Auxvasse man killed after bar argument

Dispute erupted during pool game

Benjamin T. Harris, 28, of Auxvasse was shot and killed early Thursday after an argument started during a pool game at an Auxvasse bar.

Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane said Harris and another Auxvasse man began arguing during a pool game and the bartender asked Harris to leave.

The sheriff said witnesses reported the other man left the bar a little later. Harris later showed up at the man’s home to resume the argument and began fighting with him.

Crane said the Sheriff’s Office learned of the shooting when the man who was attacked by Harris called the Sheriff’s Office at 12:50 a.m. Thursday to report he had shot a man in self defense at his home at 305 W. Main St. in Auxvasse.

Deputies and Highway Patrolmen arrived at the scene and began to interview the shooter along with witnesses at the bar and at the scene of the shooting.

Crane reported witnesses said there was an argument over a pool game at the bar. “Witnesses said there was a verbal disturbance at the bar but no physical fighting or any threats made that we know about,” the sheriff said.

One witness, Crane said, saw both the argument at the bar, the fighting at the scene, and the shooting.

That witness said Harris attacked the shooter at his home. The witness also supported the contention of the shooter that he shot Harris in self-defense. “There was evidence that the shooter was assaulted,” Crane said.

“The shooter and the victim were acquainted and apparently had been friends at one point,” Crane said.

Crane said an autopsy of the victim’s body will be performed and the blood alcohol level and a toxicology report will be available later.

Crane said the shooter underwent a test and it was determined he was not intoxicated at the time of the shooting.

“A lot of weird things,” Crane said, “sometime start to happen after people have been drinking in a bar.”

Crane said the investigation into the homicide is continuing and the autopsy results are not yet known.

“No arrest has been made at this point. And for that reason we are not releasing the name of the shooter. The fact that we have not made an arrest is an indication that we believe it may be self defense. But we will submit the results of the investigation and all of the evidence to the prosecutor,” Crane said.

Crane said the shooter used a handgun. He added the pistol and a shell casing were seized as part of the investigation.

Crane said it is important that the public be aware that the shooter is known and no one is at large.

“There is not a madman running around shooting people,” Crane said. “This is a homicide but not necessarily a murder.”

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