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NEW CASTLE Man held without bond in shooting



Published: Wed, July 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The shooting may have been the result of a fistfight that happened Saturday, witnesses said.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A man who was shot twice and then kicked in the head is in stable condition in St. Francis Hospital.

Desmond Whetzel, 21, of West Washington Street was shot in the right side of his pelvis and his right hip at 8:13 p.m. Tuesday near a house on West Parkway Street.

Police say Shontee Latham, 27, of Forrest Street faces charges of criminal attempted homicide, simple assault, carrying a firearm without a license and two counts each of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person in the shooting.

Latham, who was previously convicted of drug charges, faces another charge because of a Pennsylvania law that prohibits people convicted of crimes from carrying guns, police said.

He was arraigned before District Justice J.V. Lamb. He is being held without bond in Lawrence County Jail.

Fistfight: Witnesses told police the shooting may have been the result of a fistfight between the two men last Saturday at the Elks Club on Home Street.

Whetzel and several other men were at the Bolinger Playground Tuesday night when Latham and a woman drove past and went to a house on West Parkway Street.

The woman told police she and two small children stayed in the car as Latham went into the house for a few minutes. She became fearful when men from the playground then surrounded her car, she said.

The woman said Latham came out of the house and she heard shots, but didn't see what happened. Latham and the woman drove off and he later threw away a small-caliber gun somewhere behind the West Side Mini Mart, according to a statement to police.

Witnesses at the playground said Latham pulled the gun, fired two shots on the ground and then shot Whetzel. They said he kicked Whetzel in the head, fired a few shots at others in the area, kicked Whetzel again and then left.

Police arrested Latham later at his house.




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