The Edmond Sun

State News

September 20, 2013

'Cowboy style' gun twirling lands man in hospital

JAY, Okla. — An Oklahoma man is believed to have shot another man in the back while twirling a handgun on his finger like a cowboy as he was riding in the backseat of a car.

The shooting happened Tuesday in Delaware County, Okla., near the Arkansas state line. It was initially reported to sheriff's deputies as a robbery, said Delaware Count Sheriff’s Department Capt. Gayle Wells.

Wells said Rusti James, 21, was brought to an Arkansas hospital with a small-caliber gunshot wound to the lower left side of his back. James and his girlfriend, Marion Snell, 23, initially said that they had picked up a hitchhiker who tried to rob them and shot James, according to Wells. 

They told authorities that the hitchhiker got out of their car and fled after the shooting. Deputies searched the area but didn't find a suspect.

But when detectives interviewed the couple a second time, they confessed that that they had made up the hitchhiker story because they were afraid of the actual shooter, who they identified as 20-year-old Johnathan W. Gardner of Colcord, Okla.

According to Wells, the couple said Gardner and his girlfriend, Katie Jo Jenks, had been riding in the back seat of their car, with Snell driving and James in the front passenger seat. Gardner and James were playing with a small handgun, passing it back and forth and twirling it "cowboy style," Wells said.

Gardner was playing with the gun when it discharged, and the bullet passed through the front seat into the back of James, he said.

The couple told investigators that after the shooting, Gardner threw the gun into a ravine along the side of the road. Gardner and Jenks got out of their car and walked away, and Snell drove James to the hospital.

Police found Gardner about 30 miles away near Jay, Okla., and arrested him Tuesday night. Authorities planned to charge Gardner -- who has prior convictions for drug and robbery charges -- with possession of a firearm as a felon.

Details for this story were reported by the Joplin (Mo.) Globe.

1
Text Only
State News
  • FLY Film Festival kicks off Friday at Five80 Coffeehouse

    This weekend the feature-length film will be in Enid at the FLY Film Festival. The festival kicks off at noon Friday with lunch at Five80 Coffehouse. Screenings and workshops continue through Sunday at several locations.

    July 30, 2014

  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • McCaskill announces legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014