By Jeff Lehr
A shooting at a residence in Joplin early Monday morning sent a young man to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his chest, according to police.
Lt. Brian Lewis said a caller alerted police at 1:25 a.m. that he shot a man who was threatening a resident on East Sunny Acres Lane in Joplin.
The man who had been shot was located at an address outside the city and was taken by ambulance to Freeman Hospital West, where he underwent surgery for a bullet wound to his chest from a small-caliber handgun, according to Lewis. He was reported to be in stable condition later in the day.
Police were withholding the names of those involved in the shooting pending further investigation. No arrests had been made by late Monday afternoon.
Lewis said investigators are trying to determine if the shooting was justified. He said there were more interviews to be conducted and leads to be checked out before that could be determined.
“Right now, we’re not presenting any charges on this incident,” he said.
Lewis said the shooting appears to have stemmed from an alcohol-fueled dispute that began at a party outside city limits.
A 24-year-old man left the party when the dispute arose and went home to East Sunny Acres Lane, Lewis said. Four other men left the party sometime after he did and went to his residence and confronted him in his front yard, he said.
The 21-year-old man who contacted police and acknowledged being the shooter reportedly came to the assistance of the 24-year-old occupant of the address. He was trying to get him inside the house when the others also tried to enter. Lewis said the shooting took place at that point.
The other three men then drove their wounded companion back to the address where the party had been, which is where an ambulance crew picked him up.
Lewis declined to say if there were any weapons other than the shooter’s gun involved in the incident.