Atmore man charged in shooting

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, November 18, 2015

By Stephanie Nelson

The Brewton Standard

An Atmore man and his teenage daughter narrowly escaped injury after a man – thinking he was shooting at a night hunter – allegedly fired a shotgun into their truck.

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Chief Deputy Mike Lambert with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said 57-year-old Martin Thomas Fowler is charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and third-degree criminal mischief after the Nov. 2 incident on Booneville Road.

Lambert said the vehicle’s driver reported he was traveling to pick up his teenage daughter from a party when the incident occurred.

“He said he hit a deer with his truck, exited the vehicle and shot the deer,” Lambert said of the victim. “He then stated he left to pick up his child and when they came back by the spot, they stopped to pick up the deer.”

That’s when Fowler allegedly fired upon the two in the truck, Lambert said.

“The victim stated that when he loaded the deer into the truck, shots were fired that blew out his back windshield and struck the tailgate,” Lambert said. “That’s when he called 911.”

When deputies interviewed Fowler, the area’s only resident, he admitted to hearing the shot.

“Mr. Fowler said that a number of night hunting arrests had been made in the area near his home, and he believed another night hunter was shooting in the area, and he didn’t know if they had shot in the area of his home,” Lambert said. “And he fired back.”

Lambert said deputies recovered spent buckshot shells from Fowler’s property.

Fowler surrendered to deputies and was later released on a $5,000 bond.

The case remains under investigation by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Fresh Water Fisheries.