Thirty-five year old David Donnell McDowell of Oak Hill, was pronounced dead after an early morning shootout. Sheriff Mike Fridley told us, “At approximately 1 am this morning we received notification through the 911 center that there was a shooting in the Hilltop area of Fayette county. Deputies arrived shortly there after with medical personnel they found the individual that had been shot several times in the torso area.”
Twenty-five year old Daniel Ryan Smith of Oak Hill, is accused of shooting McDowell on his driveway after McDowell showed up with two other individuals unannounced to Smiths residence. Smith who had just gotten off of work was sitting in the car with his fiance and daughter. Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney, Larry Harrah added, “The car pulls in with Mr. McDowell, Mr. McDowell gets out of the vehicle, Mr. Smith states that he sees him carrying a hand-gun at the time. Then, Mr. McDowell approaches Mr. Smiths vehicle and the altercation escalates at that point.” Shortly after McDowell was shot, another trigger was then pulled officials say. Sheriff Fridley added, “There was two other individuals that were in the car with Mr. McDowell that dropped him off. They left the area for just a short time, then came back and saw what was going on and they fired rounds also from the vehicle.” That individual is twenty-eight year old Jimmy Johnson of Beckley who is now in police custody.
When WOAY reached out to Smith, he did not want to show his face on camera but told us that McDowell had been bothering him since April for money that Smith owed him. But, Smith told us that he did not owe McDowell any money and that he shot Mcdowell in self-defense. Friends and family of McDowell also did not want to go on camera but say he did suffer from PTSD and had been awarded a purple heart for his service. He is survived by his wife and four children.
The investigation is still on-going.