STELLA, Mo. — Two men were wounded in an exchange of gunfire Sunday afternoon at a residence near Stella that the Newton County sheriff is attributing to hostilities arising from a child custody situation.

Sheriff Chris Jennings said in a news release Monday that deputies responded at 4:30 p.m. Sunday to 19898 Terrier Road, where both a 27-year-old suspect and 34-year-old Joshua Roller, an occupant of the address, had suffered gunshot wounds.

Jennings said the suspect apparently went to the address demanding to be given his child, about whom there are custody issues pending. The sheriff said the situation escalated when the father began making threats, and gunshots were exchanged.

Roller was shot by a handgun in his lower extremities while the father suffered shotgun wounds to the upper part of his torso. The father was taken to Mercy Hospital Joplin. Roller was taken to Freeman Hospital West. The sheriff told the Globe that neither appeared to have life-threatening injuries.

Charges were being sought on the father for first-degree assault, armed criminal action and child endangerment, according to the sheriff. His name was being withheld pending arrest and the filing of charges by the Newton County prosecutor's office.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe. 

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.