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Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, left, and Ardmore Police Chief Doc Oliver discuss the shooting that erupted during a gathering at this home on Alabama 53.
Daily photo by Holly Hollman
Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, left, and Ardmore Police Chief Doc Oliver discuss the shooting that erupted during a gathering at this home on Alabama 53.

Ardmore shooting disrupts yard sale
Victim's condition serious; police arrest suspect, discover meth lab ingredients

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ARDMORE — A woman who jumped from a moving vehicle Friday on an Ardmore highway wasn't trying to find a good deal at Eyvonne Lynch's yard sale but help for her friend who had just been shot.

"She was hollering, 'Call the law! He's done been shot!' " Lynch said. "We didn't know what was going on. It scared all of us."

"I didn't know if we were all about to get shot or what," said Janet Claunch, who was at Lynch's yard sale on Seventh Street, which also is part of Alabama 53.

Lynch called Ardmore police at 12:47 p.m. while Claunch ran to the vehicle, which pulled over on the roadside after the woman jumped out. Claunch said there were three people still in the vehicle and one of them was bleeding in the front passenger's seat. She said the man appeared to have two gunshot wounds under his arm and one in his stomach.

"He couldn't talk and was white as a sheet," Claunch said.

Sheriff Mike Blakely identified the victim as 28-year-old Eric Alan Hinton.

"Some decided to try and get him to the hospital but then stopped down the road," Blakely said.

A MedFlight helicopter flew Hinton to Huntsville Hospital, where he was in serious condition and undergoing surgery Friday evening, Blakely said.

Lynch wasn't the only one who called authorities.

Less than a mile east, at 25712 Seventh St., the alleged shooter called 911 and then talked to a Sheriff's Department dispatcher until authorities arrived to take him into custody, the sheriff said.

Blakely said authorities charged Vascar "Thad" Barnett, 39, who is the homeowner, with manufacturing a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Blakely said that during the shooting investigation, authorities found ingredients used in the making of crystal methamphetamine. Members of the Limestone-Athens Drug Unit confiscated the items.

Chief Deputy Randy King said there was not a working lab at the home. Ardmore Police Chief Doc Oliver said Barnett has had "brushes with the law" before on drug-related charges.

"Barnett hasn't been charged in the shooting yet because we're still interviewing witnesses who were here and trying to find out what really happened," Blakely said Friday evening.

Blakely said Barnett allegedly used a .25-caliber automatic to shoot Hinton in the driveway.

Claunch said the woman who jumped from the vehicle told the people at the yard sale that an argument erupted between a boyfriend and girlfriend just prior to the shooting.

Nell Pierce, who was working at the yard sale, said they were about to close the sale down when the woman leapt from the vehicle.

"When that lady got to hollering, I thought somebody had a gun in the vehicle, and I didn't know what was going to happen next," Pi9erce said.

Lynch said she took a vacation day to hold her yard sale.

"I got more excitement than I was planning for by taking that day off," Lynch said.

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