Attempted murder charges follow shooting last Sunday

by Clarke Davis

A rural Valley Falls man has been arrested on attempted murder charges and his neighbor has undergone surgery after being shot in the chest.

John Hayworth Jr., 62, was arrested Sunday morning by Jefferson County Sheriff’s authorities as the person they suspect as the shooter.

John Hayworth Jr.

John Hayworth Jr.

Bill Schoonover, 58, survived a gunshot wound to the chest. His companion, Debbie Lines, reported Tuesday that he was up and walking on his own following surgery to remove a portion of his lung.

Lines said the bullet shattered a rib and doctors removed half of one lung.

Schoonover was doing chores at various places in the community for himself and relatives and was at 6155 142nd Street when the confrontation took place.

Lines described the location as the “old Luthi place” where Schoonover had a cow that was being nursed back to health because of an infection in a hoof.

It’s believed that Schoonover drove into the location and was followed by Hayworth.

Hayworth made the first call to 911 at 10:36 a.m. to Jefferson County dispatch. A Jefferson County ambulance transported Schoonover to Stormont-Vail Hospital for treatment.

Lines said Schoonover called her and she also called 911.

Hayworth remained at the scene where Jefferson County Sheriff’s officers placed him under arrest. Also at the scene was Hayworth wife, Bernadine.

Hayworth was taken to the Jefferson County jail and booked on the charge of attempted murder in the 2nd degree, intentional.

The two men live in the same neighborhood about five or six miles southwest of Valley Falls. Their houses are about three-quarters of a mile apart and they have adjoining land.

Sheriff Jeff Herrig believes the confrontation derives from agruements over a common fence and cattle getting in or out.

Schoonover was shot with a .357 Magnum and the sheriff confirmed that Hayworth did have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

There’s history of a civil suit between the two cattlemen going back five years or more over a cattle feeding bill that went to a jury trial.

Hayworth went before a judge Monday who set his bond at $50,000. He was released Monday evening after using property he owned to post a surety bond.

The low bond and his release brought a protest Tuesday from Lines who said she was angry and fearful. She said there was too much fear in the community after the shooting incident and that she was afraid to return home.

“This is not a trivial matter,” she said.

Schoonover is a Valley Falls native and a retired fireman. Hayworth is a former director of the Shawnee County ambulance service.

Lines asked the newspaper to express appreciation for the way the community has reached out to them with expressions of love and offers to help in so many ways.

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Posted by on Dec 10 2011. Filed under County News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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