Ludowici resident Eric Stephens was arrested after he and another man were involved in an altercation last Sunday that escalated into shots being fired, according to Ludowici Police Chief Richard Robertson.
At around 9:45 p.m., Robertson said, officers from his department along with deputies from the Long County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call that shots had been fired at a home on McDonald Street. After arriving at the scene, Ludowici Police Officer Raymond Govero said, the resident stated that Stephens and two other people had been arguing outside the home.
The witness said the argument escalated into a fight. During the altercation, Stephens reportedly pulled a handgun from his pocket and threatened to shoot himself and the man he was fighting with. One of the people at the residence asked Stephens to leave, and a friend of Stephens agreed to drive him home.
A witness said that as the two drove by the McDonald Street residence, Stephens fired a gun. The witness said it was unknown if the man was firing at someone at the residence, the home itself or into the air.
After gathering information, authorities went to Stephens’ mobile home on Hall Street. A witness said that prior to the authorities’ arrival, Stephens exited the structure with a gun and then ran into the woods near his home.
Govero said that Stephens’ friend, who had driven the suspect home, disputed the witness’ statement. The friend said Stephens was not armed and that no shots had been fired. The friend also said that Stephens had thrown a firecracker at the home on McDonald Street.
At this time, Stephens approached the authorities from his residence and was taken into custody. After searching the home, the officers found a .22-caliber shell casing at the rear of the home on the back-door steps.
Robertson talked to Stephens, and the suspect agreed to take him to the location of the pistol. Stephens took the authorities to the side of his mobile home and told them to remove a piece of skirting.
Directly behind the skirting, the .22-caliber pistol was found caked in dirt under the home. Stephens was arrested and charged with discharging a weapon within city limits.