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Man dies following shooting

Dec. 18, 2013 @ 12:06 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A 44-year-old man was shot in front of his son at their home and later died from his injuries following an altercation with a 25-year-old Detroit man, according to Huntington Police.

The incident happened just after 5 p.m. Tuesday at 36 27th St.

Lt. John Williams said a group of men, including at least one son of victim Robert Crutcher, was in an upstairs bedroom when things got violent -- an argument broke out among the men and the suspect, who police have identified as James Lee Johnson.

It appears Crutcher stepped in to tell the suspect to leave when the suspect pulled a pistol and shot him in his upper body. Williams said the son of the victim and the other men were able to wrestle the gun away from the suspect before he fled the home.

Crutcher's wife, who was downstairs, called 911 and reported someone had shot her husband.

Police immediately responded to the scene and found Crutcher in the upstairs bedroom. He was transported to St. Mary's Medical Center where he died a short time later.

Meanwhile, police interviewed several witnesses who provided them with the suspect's name.

Within the hour, Johnson arrived at Cabell Huntington Hospital seeking treatment for head injuries he allegedly received during the fight, enabling police to locate him.

Johnson was treated and released from the hospital Tuesday night and arrested on a murder charge.

Williams said the police department was familiar with Johnson before this incident as he has previously been arrested in Huntington, though he would not say on what charges, citing the department's policy.

He did say Johnson was wanted out of Michigan on a separate weapons charge.

Williams said it's a possibility that drugs were involved, though it's too early in the investigation to commit to that reasoning.

"We're just starting to try to get to the gist of what they are arguing about," he said.

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