The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 27, 2014

Police: Shooting erupts amid gambling, drinking

By Jean Cole

ATHENS — Two men shot Sunday night while gambling and drinking were treated at area hospitals and are expected to recover, an official said.

The alleged shooter has been charged with felony assault, records show. Athens Police believe a disagreement or fight led Travis Freeman, 38, of 315 Vine St., to grab a single-shot 12-gauge shotgun and fire it once, striking both men — one in the right calf and one in the side-to-buttock area, Chief Floyd Johnson said. The man shot in the calf was transferred by ambulance from Athens-Limestone Hospital to Huntsville Hospital, the chief said. The other man was treated at Athens-Limestone Hospital, he said.

"We also know at some point, one of the victims got the shotgun and hit Freeman over the head, causing the stock on the gun to break,” Johnson said.

Freeman, who lives at the address where the shooting occurred, was treated at the Athens-Limestone emergency room and released, the chief said.

Police received the report of a shooting at 10:20 p.m., but before patrol units arrived someone with the Athens-Limestone Hospital emergency room called to report two people had arrived with gunshot wounds, Johnson said.

“When officers arrived on Vine Street, they encountered a large crowd,” Johnson said. “Officers were able to locate several witnesses and secure the crime scene. Other officers responded to the emergency room.”

The investigation into the shooting is continuing today, the chief said.

“We believe at this point there was gambling and drinking going on at the residence,” Johnson said. “At some point, a fight or disagreement started.” Investigator Jonathan Caldwell arrested Freeman on a charge of first-degree assault. He was transferred to the Limestone County Jail.