A Bridgeport man was shot and killed by his neighbor Friday night in the midst of an ongoing dispute.
Just before 7 p.m., Tommy Carlton, 57, walked from his home to his neighbors’ house on Private Road 3421 south of Bridgeport, said Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin.
Carlton knocked on the door, and Whitney Hall, who lives at the address with her husband Jordan Hall, 30, went upstairs to get Jordan, who answered the door.
Akin said it’s unclear if Whitney knew it was Carlton at the door when she heard the knocking.
After Jordan opened the door, Carlton walked inside, and there was a dispute. Both men were armed, according to Akin.
The sheriff said the two men had been in an “ongoing squabble” since Carlton accidentally shot and killed Eric Nelson July 12, 2016. Nelson was a mutual neighbor and friend.
In that incident, Carlton told investigators he and Nelson had been riding horses on County Road 3420 and were headed home when they came upon an armadillo near the road. Nelson asked Carlton if he had his weapon, and Carlton said he had a semi-automatic pistol.
When Carlton fired the weapon, his horse reared up, which spooked Nelson’s horse, who ran in front of Carlton. It was during this time that the weapon inadvertently was fired again, striking Nelson, who fell from his horse.
He was shot in the left side through the rib cage.
The incident was investigated by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, and Carlton was “no billed” by a grand jury Dec. 16, meaning a criminal case would not go forward at that time.
“We do believe threats were exchanged (Friday night between Jordan and Carlton),” Akin said. “We understand there had been ongoing comments in the neighborhood about Tommy and the previous shooting. But exactly what prompted him (to go to Jordan’s house) that day, we’re not sure.”
Jordan shot Carlton multiple times “on the frontal side” with a Glock 9mm, according to the sheriff. Akin declined to discuss the number of times Carlton was shot or where he was shot until the autopsy results are available.
“We need to have the autopsy results back to speak to that,” he said.
Carlton was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Craig Johnson.
Akin said Carlton’s gun, a .380 semi-automatic pistol, was found on the floor near his body.
“We don’t have absolute information on if Tommy pointed his gun at Jordan,” Akin said. “But it was apparent Tommy had a weapon, and evidence shows that that weapon was out of the holster.”
Carlton’s body was sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy and toxicology, the latter of which will be available in about six weeks. Preliminary autopsy results should be available this week.
Akin said there was no indication in the house or in observation of Jordan that he had been drinking.
No arrests have been made. The case remains under investigation, but Akin said it will most likely be referred to a grand jury.
“Our CID team has put in many man-hours to make sure we seek the truth and find all the facts,” Akin said. “I’m proud of the guys and how hard they’re working to answer questions and basing those findings on the evidence that’s been uncovered as a result of the investigation.”