Name of shooting victim released

FCSO investigating ‘persons of interest’ in Nov. 28 incident

By Ryan Carter -

WASHINGTON C.H. — The name of the victim in the Nov. 28 Center Christian parking lot shooting has been released and “persons of interest” have been identified, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.

Lee E. Watkins, 25, of Butler County, has been released from a Columbus-area trauma center and is expected to make a full recovery, Stanforth said Tuesday. The names of the “persons of interests” have not been released. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday evening.

As detectives from the sheriff’s office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI&I) continue their investigation, authorities believe the motive in the shooting centers around a robbery or robbery attempt, according to Stanforth.

On the evening of the shooting in the church parking lot, located on Garringer-Edgefield Road in northwest Fayette County, a witness in the area reported observing two vehicles in the lot and at least two individuals outside the vehicles involved in a physical altercation.

A short time later, the caller reported hearing what was believed to be a gunshot. Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jordan Lovely found an incoherent man inside of a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. The other vehicle departed the scene by the time deputies arrived, according to Stanforth.

Lovely requested response from EMS and a medical helicopter while administering first aid to Watkins, who was shortly thereafter flown to the trauma center for treatment.

Stanforth, along with members of his command staff and detective bureau, responded to the scene and secured the perimeter while the investigation was conducted. A crime scene agent was requested from BCI&I to assist sheriff’s detectives with the investigation and collection of evidence.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the FCSO at 740-335-6170 or by contacting Det. Sgt. Jon Fausnaugh at 740-333-3504, Ext. 7. Anonymous tips may also be reported by visiting the website at and clicking the “Report a Tip” link.

FCSO investigating ‘persons of interest’ in Nov. 28 incident

By Ryan Carter

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica