Union County shooting appears to be suicide

MYRTLE – A Union County man’s shooting was apparently a suicide, according to autopsy results.
Union County Sheriff’s officers were summoned to 1035 County Road 56 in the Poolville community west of New Albany shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday, where they found two residents of the home had been shot.
Billy Bates, 41, was dead at the scene with gunshot wounds in his head and leg. Steve Kennon, 51, was transported first to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County and then to a Memphis hospital, according to Chief Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Edwards, for wounds in his hand and arm.
Bates’ body was sent to Jackson for autopsy.
“We got the preliminary report in (Wednesday) afternoon,” said Union County Coroner Mark Golding. “It does look like Billy’s wound was self-inflicted.”
Golding added that early investigation indicated Kennon was trying to wrestle the 9-mm pistol away from Bates when one of them fired the handgun. Investigators believe the first bullet went into Kennon’s hand and exited through his arm.
“This bullet that came out of Steve’s arm went into Billy’s leg,” Golding said. When Kennon left the room to have a third person in the home call 911 to report he’d been shot, the two heard another gunshot and found Bates with a bullet wound in his head, he added.
Both the Union County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol are involved in the ongoing investigation.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal