Baxter County Sheriff's Deputies responded this afternoon to a 911 call received at approximately 3:15 PM from a man who reported he had been shot with a BB or pellet gun and that the suspects fled into a wooded area.
The victim and another man were doing roofing work on the rooftop of the former Baxter Laboratory building in Midway. The victim stated he was shot once in the hand and a second time in the chest. He observed two suspects, one with the weapon, as they fled on foot into the wooded area behind the building. Sheriff's Sergeant Ken Grayham and Deputy Kristofer Savino immediately responded to the area. Deputy Savino was able to locate the suspects and detained them pending further investigation. The victim, who is 42 years old of rural Baxter County, was able to positively identify one of the suspects as being the person who fired the weapon at him. Deputies recovered a pellet rifle and ammunition from the suspect.
The investigation also uncovered a motive for the incident. The suspect who fired the weapon at the victim had previously worked with the victim at a local roofing company, but the suspect was terminated from that job approximately two months ago and held a grudge against the victim.
The suspect who had fired at the victim, Matthew T. Tharp, 21 years old of rural Gassville, was arrested and charged with the misdemeanor offense of Battery in the Third Degree. He was taken to the Detention Center and incarcerated pending the posting of bond in the amount of $1,000. He will appear in District Court at a later date.
The other suspect, a 15 year old juvenile, was determined not to be an active participant in the incident and was not charged with an offense.
The victim did not seek or require medical attention for his injuries, which were minor.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff