Country music singer Randy Howard was killed on Tuesday night following an intense shootout with a bounty hunter. The death of the 65-year-old musician is being looked into by the Tennesee Bureau of Investigation.
Randy had failed to appear in court to answer for a fourth-offense DUI charge. Howard also faced charges related to drug paraphernalia, driving on a revoked license, and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 13, 2015
Thus far, the only account we have of the event comes from the surviving party in th shootout. Bondsman Jackie Shell said that he arrived at the Lynchburg home of Randy Howard with a warrant for his arrest. Shell said that when he entered the home of Howard, he was immediately met with gunfire. The bondsman said that he returned fire, fatally injuring Howard.
According to NBC News, the bondsman suffered a non-life-threatening injury. Randy Howard died in his home.
Randy Howard didn’t just sing about the outlaw life, he lived it. Even so, he was a heavily respected country musician. He had shared the stage with top country acts, including Hank Williams Jr., Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings. Singer Hank Williams III posted a “RIP Randy Howard” message on his Facebook page, featuring a photo of him together with Howard.
Country singer Randy Howard has been shot and killed by a bounty hunter in Tennessee http://t.co/ptQ0PsFVcb pic.twitter.com/yLoRlarGAs
— Digital Spy (@digitalspy) June 12, 2015
Randy’s friend Terry Dotson told WSMV that he had offered to drive Randy Howard to court to answer for the charges. However, Howard allegedly rejected the offer.
“He said he wasn’t going back to jail. That’s what he told me.”
The declaration would prove to be eerily prophetic.
Josh DeVine, a spokesman for the TBI, told the Associated Press that the agency believes that Howard did actually fire first. Although DeVine stated that Jackie Shell was injured in the shootout, he did not comment on the extent of the injury. Shell’s mother told the Associated Press he’d undergone surgery.
Although the official word is that Randy Howard was the party that started the fatal shootout, there are some critics who blame the bounty hunter for what happened. Because Shell isn’t an officer of the court or legitimate law official, some wondered if the matter could have been avoided if an actual police officer had gone to check on the singer rather than a bounty hunter.
This was the criticism put forth by a commenter named David on the Hank 3 Randy Howard Facebook page.
“A bounty hunter is NOT a cop. He should have backed off and called the cops rather than get into a gun battle. RIP Howard.”
A separate commenter replied that bounty hunters are “authorized to use force and licensed to do so.” What do you think? Could the death of Randy Howard have been prevented?
[Image Credit: Hank 3 Facebook]