Police: Struggle Over Rifle Led To Fayetteville Shooting Death

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Jonathan William Ball was shot in the torso and killed while struggling over a rifle with John Christopher Short in Short's house at 132 W. Sycamore St., Fayetteville police said.

Officers responded to the call Friday at 1:41 a.m., according to a news release from Greg Tabor, police chief.

Ball, 32, had been staying with Short, 30, and Short's girlfriend for several days. Short and Ball has been arguing during "the course of the evening," when Ball threatened to kill Short, the release states.

Short went to his room, returned with a rifle and ordered Ball to leave. Ball threatened to take the rifle from Short and shoot him, the release states.

After Ball grabbed the rifle barrel, the two men struggled. Short fired one shot, striking Ball in the torso, according to the release. Ball was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center, where he later died, the release states. 

Short, who uses a prosthetic leg, was taken into custody and released, said Sgt. Craig Stout, police department spokesman.

Stout said Ball is from the Little Rock area. Investigators believe alcohol was a factor in Ball's conduct prior to the shooting, Stout said.

Tabor said the case will be forwarded to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Ball and Short have both been jailed at the Pulaski County Detention Facility several times in the past. Ball was booked into the facility 14 times since 1998 on various misdemeanor charges. Short was jailed at the facility four times in the last 12 years, most recently in connection with shoplifting earlier this year.