Shooting injures mother, son

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 2004

LEWISTON-WOODVILLE – A playful family reunion turned tragic here July 4 when a bullet from a pistol that discharged accidentally struck a mother and her son.

Although Lewiston-Woodville Police Chief B. Winston Panton believes that no foul play is involved in the incident, he still charged the shooter, the father of the child, and is currently has an arrest warrant for Addaryl Vaughan, 27, who resides in the 2600 block of Governor’s Road.

Upon his arrest, Vaughan will be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as well as child endangerment.

Chief Panton reported that he received a call at 11:40 p.m. on Sunday to respond to a shooting at 170 Lake Drive, located in Lewiston-Woodville at the PGR Trailer Court. The victims – 27-year-old Latonya Barnes and her six-year-old son, both of Smithfield – were visiting Barnes’ grandmother at the Lake Drive address during the holiday weekend.

Panton said the mother and son were transported by private vehicle to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie. Barnes was later taken to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville. The bullet, which grazed her son, was lodged in her right leg.

&uot;After taking statements from Ms. Barnes, Mr. Vaughan and other eyewitnesses, I was able to determine that the shooting was accidental in nature,&uot; said Chief Panton.

According to the information Panton gathered from the father, Vaughan said he had stopped by the residence to visit with his son.

&uot;He picked-up his son and held him with both arms extended, lifting the child over his head in a playful manner,&uot; reported Panton. &uot;Meanwhile, the child’s feet were swinging freely. One of the child’s feet struck a .22 caliber handgun that was tucked in the waistband of Mr. Vaughan’s pants. Upon striking the weapon, the pistol discharged a bullet that grazed the left leg of the child. That same bullet then continued to travel, striking Ms. Barnes who was on the couch at the time of the incident.&uot;

Panton said the bullet caused a gash on the child’s leg.

&uot;If the bullet had traveled just a little more to the right, the child would have received a very serious injury,&uot; noted Panton.

On Monday, Vaughan stopped by the Lewiston-Woodville Police Department to provide what other information Panton needed for the report.

&uot;His information was consistent with what I had obtained from Ms. Barnes and other witnesses,&uot; said Panton. &uot;That only solidified my belief that this shooting was accidental.&uot;

However, there remained a twist.

&uot;I had to perform a criminal history check on Mr. Vaughan,&uot; stated Panton. &uot;He had already left my office prior to me beginning that check, but he had promised me he would be back by 2 p.m. on Monday. He did not come back on Monday afternoon and has yet to return.&uot;

Panton said he could not charge Vaughan after taking his statement because he had not completed the criminal history check.

&uot;Plus I didn’t have an arrest warrant on Monday, but I have one now,&uot; concluded the Chief. &uot;Addaryl Vaughan is a wanted man.&uot;

Panton said anyone with knowledge of Vaughan’s whereabouts could call his office (348-2499) or the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office at 794-5330.