Leitchfield man accused of fatally shooting man with 'homemade shotgun'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Leitchfield man is charged with murder, after police say he shot and killed a man with his "homemade shotgun" before threatening to kill a woman who saw it all happen.

According to an arrest report, the incident took place just after 10 p.m. on Wednesday, at a home in the 1600 block of Lashley Street, near the intersection of Brandenburg Road and the Leitchfield Bypass.

Police say someone called to report that a person had been shot at that location. Approximately 40 minutes later, police say 40-year-old James Garrett called Grayson County dispatchers to report that he had just shot someone, and was in a field next to the scene.

According to the arrest report, police found Garrett in a wooded area near a pond behind the home a few minutes later.

The body of the victim, 37-year-old David J. Smith, was found near Garrett's home, behind a pile of furniture and debris that was being burned. Police say they had difficulty getting to Smith because of the flames.

Garrett was taken to the Leitchfield Police Department for questioning.

When asked about what happened, Garrett allegedly told officers that he and Smith had been at Garrett's home drinking beer earlier in the evening.

Garrett said Smith left for about 45 minutes, but then returned.

When Smith came back, Garrett said he saw his back porch security light activate. That's when, he says, he grabbed his "homemade 12-gauge slap gun" because he was "paranoid."

Police say Garrett told them he looked out the back door and Smith was standing there with a BB gun in his hand. According to Garrett, he said, "I got you."

That's when, Garrett says, he felt threatened and he shot Smith one time. At that point, police say Smith fell to the ground.

Police say Garrett went back inside the home, reloaded, then shot Smith again.

According to the arrest report, Garrett then approached a woman who was in his driveway and said, "Give me your phone, or I'll kill you. You just witnessed me shoot somebody." The woman then gave him her phone and ran away, eventually knocking on a neighbor's door and calling for help.

Police say Garrett ran away and threw the gun and ammunition in a pond behind his home before calling 911 and turning himself in.

He was arrested and charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and first-degree robbery. He is currently being held in the Grayson County Detention Center.

Neighbors say they're in shock over what happened.

“I’ve been here 17 tears – will be in October – and we’ve never had anything like that here. Never," said neighbor Teresa Elmore.

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