The Athens Review
GUN BARREL CITY —
An argument between family members in Gun Barrel City led to gunfire early Sunday, leaving a 49-year-old man dead, Gun Barrel City Police Chief Damon Boswell said.
The deceased was 49-year-old Steven Scott Trimm of 138 Boshart Way. According to police, the incident occurred at about 2 a.m. in front of the residence. The altercation began when a person at the residence complained that he had lost a wallet that contained a large amount of money. Trimm became angry and came outside with a firearm and started shooting at the man who made the complaint.
Boswell said Trimm’s son, Jonathan Sawyer Trimm, 22, reacted to the gunfire by firing at Steven Trimm, hitting the elder man in the head, leaving him fatally wounded.
According to GBC police, officers responded to the area of Boshart Way in regards to several 911 calls concerning shots fired. Officers Zach Kennedy and Jesse Ison were the first to respond. While in route, they were advised that an ambulance was needed at that address. As the officers drove Boshart Way, they confronted Harold C. Brown, 32 of Gun Barrel City. Brown told officers that Jonathan Trimm had just shot his (Jonathans) dad. Officers arrived at the residence and saw a Jonathan Trimm at the end of the driveway with his hands held in the air.
Police reports said the officers then saw Steven Trimm lying in the front yard. Officers remained with the wounded man until members of the Gun Barrel City Fire department and EMS personnel arrived and took over the care of the victim.
Gun Barrel City Police Department personal were called and advised of the situation. Investigation into the offense revealed that Brown had left his wallet in Jonathan’s vehicle. It was taken and placed in the Trimm residence located on Boshart Way. When Brown arrived to retrieve that wallet, it could not be found. Steve Trimm became agitated, stating he did not take the wallet. Although all parties said Steven Trimm was never accused of taking the wallet, he continued to escalate the situation. It was stated that Steven Trimm was intoxicated at the time.
Police said investigators also learned that a struggle ensued between Steven and Jonathan over a shotgun. Because of this, that shotgun and a handgun were removed from inside the residence and placed on a table outside the residence. After this, Jonathan and his family left the residence for a short period of time, while Brown remained looking for his wallet. Brown stated that Steven Trimm was seated at a table and that he had another shotgun. Words were exchanged between the two and as Brown and his wife were exiting out the front door, Trimm fired the shotgun in their direction. Brown ran from the residence and as he fled, he retrieved the handgun which had earlier been placed outside away from Steven. As Brown ran down the driveway, Jonathan returned, saw what was taking place and took the handgun from Brown. Steven Trimm then came out of the residence with yet another handgun. Seeing Brown, he started shooting in his direction resulting in Brown running down the road to escape.
Police said Jonathan then yelled at his father Steven to stop shooting but to no avail. Jonathan told investigators that at the time, he felt that his father was trying to actually shoot Brown. Jonathan said that he was standing behind his father, that he closed his eyes, pulled the pistol he had taken away from Brown up and fired one shot in his father’s direction. He stated that he did not realize he had shot his father until after the fact.
Officers took statements from several witnesses and a thorough crime scene investigation was conducted. According to all the facts the Investigators were able to obtain, they determined that the force Jonathan used was justified in the protection of a third party, therefore he was not arrested.
This case will be completed and submitted to the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office to be presented to a Grand Jury for review.
Those that responded and assisted in the investigation were Chief Damon Boswell, Assistant Chief of Police Larry Warrick, Investigators Monte Mansfield and Bill Crawford, Officers Jason Ramsey and Gabe Shue as well as Reserve Sergeant Jim McKee. Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee also responded and assisted in the investigation.
McKee later commented on the turn of events that led to the killing.
“As a society that values life, it’s important to have laws that protect life,” McKee said.