AP NEWS

Gun theft accusation led to the March 11 shooting, witness says

March 21, 2019 GMT

HUNTINGTON — A shooting in Guyandotte last week was the result of a multi-person fight over an alleged stolen gun, a witness testified Wednesday in Cabell County Magistrate Court.

Houston Andrew Cook, 19, is charged with two counts of malicious wounding and wanton endangerment stemming from the March 11 shooting of a father and son in the 300 block of Prospect Street in Guyandotte.

After a hearing Wednesday, Magistrate John McCallister ruled there was enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury for its consideration.

During the hearing, Dustin Hart, the brother of one of the two shooting victims and the son of the other victim, said the incident occurred after the family accused Cook of stealing a gun from their home while Cook was at the home playing video games with him the day before the shooting.

Hart said the gun was reported stolen to the police that night by the gun’s owner, a roommate.

The day of the shooting, Hart said Cook returned to the property with a friend, saying he wanted to fight Hart. Hart was outside of his residence in the front yard. The incident occurred around 3 p.m. as school buses began letting children off from school. Several neighbors were also outside at the time.

Hart said Cook had a visible gun in his pants. Cook and Hart began fighting, until Hart’s roommate intervened and Cook turned his attention to him. Hart said Cook’s friend then swung at him and as he defended himself the friend’s gun fell to the ground.

Samuel Hart, the father, then intervened and Cook threw him to the ground, Dustin Hart said.

Eventually, Cook ended up on the ground and as he got up, Dustin Hart said, the shooting started. Dustin Hart said he saw Cook stand over his father and shoot him in the elbow, then continue to shoot toward the house.

That was when Samuel Hart II, the second shooting victim, came outside the home with a shotgun, Dustin Hart said. He did not see his brother fire the shotgun, but his brother told him he did fire it. Samuel Hart II ended up with a shot in the arm, which broke his arm, and a bullet grazed his back.

Dustin Hart said he never saw Cook’s friend fire his weapon.

Defense attorney Michelle Protzman asked if Dustin Hart had ever sold Cook a gun or if there are Facebook messages trying to sell him a gun. Dustin Hart denied this.

Protzman also tried to bring Samuel Hart to the stand to testify, but prosecutor Courtney Cremeans objected, saying it was just the defense attempting discovery. McCallister sided with the state and ruled he had enough evidence to send the case to the grand jury.

Cook is being held in the Western Regional Jail on $75,000 bond. He is also facing separate charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and conspiracy, according to the jail website.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.