Playful insults lead to gunshots in Sumter County

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

LIVINGSTON-Playful insults led to gunshots wounds for one man and jail time for another Saturday afternoon. James Little, 73, of the Geiger community apparently took offense when the victim, Albert Henderson Jr., were trading insults and decided to deliver a final blow.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s department responded to the call near Highway 17 and Sumter Street after being informed of gunshots. The victim, Henderson, said he and Little had been trading insults good-naturedly when the incident took a serious turn.

Henderson, 53, stated he was “janking” Little calling him an old man and telling him to “go on back in the house.”

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Sumter County Sheriff Johnny Hatter said Little did go back in the house and returned with a weapon.

“Little went back in the house like he was told, and then he came back out with a .22 rifle,” Hatter said.

According to the report Henderson then told Little to “Put that gun down, you aint gonna do nothing with it.”

At that point Little fired at Henderson striking the victim in the left buttock.

Henderson then drove himself to the hospital for treatment for the gunshot wound.

Hatter said this was just an example of how playful insults can create a serious situation.

“Some folks think it’s funny to trade insults and threats,” Hatter said. “But you’ll run into somebody who doesn’t take that stuff lightly. Bringing a weapon into an argument is never right, but if a person stands there and dares somebody to hurt them, they shouldn’t be surprised when they get hurt.”

Hatter said insults can be fun and games to some, but to others they can be taken very seriously.

“Mr. Henderson called it “janking” and Mr. Little called it “trading wolf tickets,” Hatter said. “But whatever you call it, the insults could have gotten somebody killed Saturday. Some people grew up picking on other people, but a lot of older folks didn’t come up that way. To somebody Mr. Little’s age, it isn’t normal to cuss somebody and put them down.”

Hatter said the assault, second degree, case will be presented to the fall grand jury.