JANE, Mo. — The deputy pulled up to the location along U.S. Highway 71 where Daniel Hoskins had been brought to meet an ambulance crew and spotted the gunshot victim on the ground next to a car with a woman crouched over him, administering CPR.
Stephanie Hymiller and Michael Poole stood nearby. Hymiller was excited and screaming hysterically, the deputy would later report in a probable-cause affidavit.
As the deputy got out and approached, Poole declared: "It was an accident, man."
Hoskins, 35, of Anderson, was taken on to Mercy Hospital in Bella Vista, Arkansas, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The cause was a gunshot through the upper part of his chest suffered during a scuffle with Poole into which Hymiller, the victim's girlfriend, had been drawn.
The deputy soon learned of the altercation Thursday night outside Hoskins' home on Good Life Circle north of Jane that culminated in the shooting and had Poole, 33, of Noel, and Hymiller, 38, of Jane, brought in for questioning.
The McDonald County Sheriff's Department eventually determined that the shooting was indeed accidental, as Poole maintained. But he was charged with first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon with respect to his altercation with Hoskins, while Hymiller, who was in possession of the gun when it discharged and fatally wounded her boyfriend, was released without charges.
According to a probable-cause affidavit, the accounts the pair provided investigators essentially jibed.
Poole told them that he'd gone to a friend's house to retrieve a firearm that belonged to him. The friend told him that Hoskins had his gun. So he went to Hoskins' home looking to get it back.
He told investigators that when he got there, Hoskins and Hymiller pulled into the driveway, and Hoskins jumped out and started running toward him. Poole had brought another firearm with him, a .380-caliber handgun that he pulled out and fired into the ground in an effort to discourage Hoskins' advance, he told investigators.
When the warning shot failed to check Hoskins' approach, Poole threw the gun down and began scuffling with Hoskins. At that point, Hymiller ran over, picked up the weapon and began hitting Poole in the head with it, he told investigators.
The affidavit reads: "Poole said the next thing he knew, all three of them were tangled up and the gun went off. Poole stated they all immediately stopped fighting, and that is when he and Hymiller noticed Hoskins had been shot."
Hymiller confirmed that Poole was parked at Hoskins' house when they pulled into the driveway. Her boyfriend jumped out and started toward Poole, she said. She was walking toward the porch of the house when she saw Poole pull out the gun and fire it into the ground.
She further acknowledged that after he threw it to the ground, she picked it up and started hitting Poole in an effort to get him off Hoskins.
"Hymiller stated (that) during the fight the gun went off and she realized Hoskins had been shot," the affidavit reads.
Chief Deputy Chris Allison said an autopsy that has been ordered will be needed to determine the path of the fatal round, but the shot appeared to have entered the victim's right side, passed through the upper part of his chest and exited his back.
Allison said investigators were still looking into why Hoskins came at Poole when Hoskins pulled up to the house and saw Poole. He acknowledged that Hoskins' purported behavior suggested that there was some sort of prior antagonism between the two men.
"We're still trying to figure out the nature of that dispute," he said.
Source : http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/updated-fatal-shooting-deemed-accidental-man-charged-in-preceding-assault/article_2c771a59-28bc-5b9c-81f8-a354dc817bd8.html