Witnesses: Medlin threatened to kill people camping nearby

Reprinted with permission from Buffalo River Review October 24, 2018:

More details have emerged in the shooting death of a Linden man at Beech Bend Park and Campground in Decatur County. Jerrell Barber, 57, died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds, on Sunday evening, October 14, 2018. The 911 call came in at 5:15 p.m.

Jimmy Kevin Medlin, 42 of Parsons, has been charged with first degree murder and marijuana possession, and is being held without bond, according to information from the Parsons News Leader.

Responding officers found Barber’s body; witnesses identified Medlin as the shooter. He was arrested at the scene and a semi-automatic handgun was taken from his possession. Police said Medlin fired six shots at Barber, three or more striking the victim.

Authorities said Barber had been living at the campground for several weeks, but the victim’s father, Jerry Barber of Linden, said that was not true. He said Jerrell lived in his home on Highway 412 east of Linden, and that their son checked on his parents every day. Mr. Barber said Jerrell was at the campground selling firewood and just happened to find himself in the middle of an altercation between Medlin and another couple.

Witnesses said Medlin had threatened the people camping next to him. Mr. Barber said witnesses told him that when Jerrell found out the situation was dangerous, he was retrieving his chainsaw and about to leave. Witnesses, according to Mr. Barber, said Jerrell was standing with his hands in the air when the shots were fired.

The matter remains under investigation by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

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