A family fight over dogs led to the shooting death of a rural Tampico man Saturday and the arrest of his son for his murder, according to Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
Receiving three reports of an injured man at 11 p.m., Jackson County Sheriff’s Department officers went to the home of John Shoultz, 48, at 7865 S. State Road 39 south of Tampico and found him dead from gunshot wounds.
A short time later, his son, John A. Shoultz III, 20, was stopped by Jennings County police as he and his girlfriend, Andrea D. Howard, 19, of Crothersville, were driving east on U.S. 50 in North Vernon.
“I don’t know that they were going to run, but they left the house,” Sheriff Marc Lahrman said of the younger Shoultz, who faces a murder charge, and Howard, who faces a charge of assisting a criminal. “He and his Dad were arguing over dogs in the house,” Lahrman said of the suspect and incident that led to the shooting.
Lahrman said the older Shoultz was shot at least three times by a large caliber handgun
Lahrman said Howard had family in the North Vernon area, and the younger Shoultz may have had family there as well.
Lahrman said investigators believe an argument led the father to grab a straight razor and kick in a door to a bedroom where the younger Shoultz and Howard had gone to. “It just went bad after that,” Lahrman said.
Police also determined the younger Shoultz and Howard made calls to family members after the shooting.
John Shoultz’ wife also was at home at the time of the murder, but she was not injured, Lahrman said.
Jennings County Officer Kevin Hall first spotted a vehicle containing Shoultz and Howard and followed it east on U.S. 50. Hall said he opted to wait until after the vehicle passed Jennings County High School where the after-prom was being held in case the stop turned violent. Hall eventually stopped the vehicle at Norris Avenue and Walnut Street in North Vernon.
Shoultz and Howard were taken to Jackson County Jail in Brownstown.
Shoultz, who also faces a charge of possession of a handgun by a felon, was booked into the jail at 4:39 a.m. Sunday and is being held without bail.
Howard was booked in at 3:37 a.m. and was being held on a $10,005 bail.
Lahrman said police recovered the weapon Shoultz used to shoot his father and said Howard helped hide that weapon, leading to the assisting a criminal charge being requested against her.
Lahrman said Shoultz had been in jail on a possession of a handgun charge by a convicted felon until March 19, when he was able to post a $50,005 bond through a bail bondsman. He was arrested Jan. 16 on a Jackson Circuit Court warrant on that charge.
Lahrman said police have been called to the Shoultz home in the past on reports of weapon violations. He said one of those calls involved the younger Shoultz firing a gun at a vehicle in the driveway of the home where he and his girlfriend have lived off and on. At the time of their arrests Sunday, Shoultz and Howard both used the address of his parents’ home.