Two men charged after one fires gunshot at the other in PD parking lot

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2011

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby man was arrested last Thursday, April 14, after firing a gun at another man in the parking lot of the Columbiana Police Department.

Walter Leon Perkins was charged with reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm within the city, according to Columbiana Police Chief Lamar Vick.

Perkins, who is in his late 60s, was booked into the Shelby County Jail and released on bond the same day.

Walter Perkins

Vick said Perkins fired one shot from a 9mm handgun at Ray Traywick, who was not struck by the bullet.

However, Traywick was transported to the hospital after complaining of chest pains, Vick said, noting that Traywick wasn’t released from the hospital until two days later on April 16.

Traywick, who is in his mid-50s, was charged with reckless endangerment and assault, Vick said.

“Several people were lucky that day,” Vick said. “Both parties involved were lucky they walked away. They were lucky no bystander got hit.”

The incident occurred about 9 a.m. and was the result of a civil dispute between Perkins and Traywick.

“It’s an ongoing problem they’ve been having,” Vick said.

Both parties drove separate vehicles to police headquarters, which is located at the back of Columbiana City Hall at 107 Mildred Street. Once there, Perkins and Traywick got into a brief scuffle, said Vick, who was in his office when he heard the gunshot.

Vick said he immediately took action, with assistance from Officer David Alexander, who responded from the Main Street area within a minute or so of Vick’s request for backup.

In addition to the 9mm, Vick said Perkins had another small caliber handgun in his back pocket.

Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe praised Vick and Alexander for their quick responses.

“The fact that no one was injured during this incident is directly attributable to the quick and professional manner in which Chief Vick and Officer Alexander responded,” Lowe said. “I am very proud of both these gentlemen, and I consider them both to be exceptional officers.”