LPD probes shooting death

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lewisburg Police have been investigating a shooting at an apartment complex Saturday night when the gunman called 911 and the victim apparently died in the Marshall Medical Center emergency room.

An autopsy was to be performed Sunday on Michael Jett, 53, of Pear Tree Apartments on Nashville Highway, Police Detective Sgt. Jimmy Oliver said Sunday evening. Jett was allegedly shot by Jeff Sturgill, 51, who also lives at the apartment house.

There was an altercation in Sturgill's apartment, Oliver said. Sturgill shot Jett in the stomach and has been cooperative with police, the detective said. Sturgill hadn't requested a lawyer and no arrest had been made as of press time. Oliver said would consult with Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard on Tuesday.

A recording of the 911 call would appear to indicate that Jett threatened Sturgill with a knife, but that Sturgill had Jett at gunpoint while talking with the 911 operator.

"Oh my God," Sturgill told the operator. "I've got a man at gunpoint."

The detective sergeant said Jett and Sturgill only knew each other because they were living in the same apartment building and would say hello in passing, but Sturgill didn't know Jett's name.

After Sturgill's address information was sought by the police dispatcher, the 911 call recording includes a man's voice saying, "I'll kill you. I swear to God...

"He came with a knife and tried to kill me," the 911 call recording shows.

Then the caller says to someone at his apartment, "I swear to God, you move, you're dead... Lay down. I'm going to have to shoot you."

The recording then includes the words of the caller saying, "Shot fired... Move again, I'll have to shoot you again...

"He's wounded... He's got a second weapon...

"Don't make me kill him... please... I've already shot him in the stomach," the caller's voice is heard to say in the 911 call.

The caller then tells the dispatcher that officers would have to kick his door open, but it proved to be too strong, so police persuaded him to unlatch the deadbolt.

"I'm going to put the gun to his head and if he moves, I'm going to shoot him," the caller said when he apparently moved closer to the man he'd already shot.

"Please tell them to hurry," the caller is heard telling the dispatcher.

Oliver said he was unaware of anyone hearing the gunshot at about 8:30 p.m.

First on the scene were Police Officers Kevin Clark and Brad Martin. Also responding were Officers Jackie Robertson and Anthony McLean.