07/17/08 — Officials weighing charges in shooting

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Officials weighing charges in shooting

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on July 17, 2008 1:19 PM

An act of self defense or a murder -- that is the question the Wayne County District Attorney's office must now weigh in the shooting death of Shelton Douglas Southerland Jr., 31, after he repeatedly entered a neighbor's home.

Southerland, who went by the name "Doug" because he shared his father's name, was found with a mortal gunshot wound at 430 Billy Price Road in June.

Doctors pronounced him dead not long after the Sunday afternoon incident at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Southerland reportedly had had a disagreement with neighbor Daniel Glenn Price Jr., 30, who was reluctantly named as the shooter by investigating deputies who did not charge him.

Southerland had reportedly been in Price's home more than once that day, and Capt. Tom Effler said Southerland did not break into the home.

"You can't really say that he forced his way into the house -- he went into the house, and after that, the shooting occurred," Effler said.

An investigator said that witness interviews revealed Southerland made threats to Price's safety earlier in the day.

According to emergency communications records, at least two households, including the address where the shooting took place, made emergency calls that day.

Effler said the gun Price used to fatally shoot Southerland was a handgun, but did not describe it further.

"We have turned the file in to the district attorney's office to review the case, decide if Price is criminally liable in the death.

District Attorney Branny Vickory's office then has a number of options, including those before the county Grand Jury.

Effler said Vickory could also ask the Sheriff's Office to formally charge Price in the death.

Vickory was out of town this week.

Phone calls to the district attorney's office Wednesday and today were not returned.