A rhubarb at a softball game between Laurel Creek and Fountain Inn ended with the umpire shot to death, another man nursing broken bones and a coach in jail today charged with murder.
Lt. Earl Barnett of the Greenville County sheriff's department said Willie Lee Surgeon, 44, of Fountain Inn was arrested at his home and charged with murder in the slaying of Raymond L. Dawkins, 52. No bond was set.
An umpire, but apparently not Dawkins, reportedly made a disputed call and an unidentified man ran onto the field with a knife. Spurgeon, who was in a dugout, pulled a pistol. A fight ensued, with shots exchanged. Ballistics tests later showed that Dawkins was killed by a bullet in the neck from Spurgeon's gun.
During the fight, Spurgeon was shot in the ip, and his pants fell off when the bullet hit him, authorities said.
Meanwhile, James E. Thompson, said to be the second baseman, also brandished a gun. He was attacked with a baseball bat. He was listed in satisfactory condition at Greenville General Hospital with severe head, face and shoulder injuries.
His sister, Debbie Carter, said Thompson did not play softball and was standing on the sidelines. As for pulling the gun, she said. "Some say he did and some say he didn't."