A 24-year-old man was killed and killed on Tuesday evening in West Springfield, Virginia, and a 52-year-old man is accused of his murder.
Javon Prather died after he was found shot in Block 7700 of Bedstraw Court. Michael Hetle, also from Springfield, was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder.
The victim’s mother claims that the suspect was his son’s neighbor and that they had fought bitterly for years. The police declined to comment on what led to the shooting and said they are investigating.
Previously Prather had served in the Maryland National Guard, who had tweeted about his death, as had Governor Larry Hogan.
“We are deeply saddened by the disappearance of specialist Javon Prather, a member of the 175th Maryland National Guard infantry regiment,” the governor said in a tweet.
Prather was shot at around 16:50. A neighbor said he had heard at least seven shots.
Prather was declared dead on the scene. He worked as a manager at Giant Foods and served in the Maryland National Guard for six years, said his mother Shabon Prather. He planned to get back on the list and was a “good man,” said his mother.
Prather and Hetle had been fighting for years, said Shavon Prather. He mentioned discussions about dog poop left out.
“He has been giving problems to my son and his wife for a long time,” he said.
Neighbors said the men had discussed loud music and people coming and going.
The shots rang out in a West Springfield neighborhood, leaving a man dead. Investigators believe the victim has been targeted. News4 Shomari Stone reports.
Hetle is a former officer in the Bellevue Police Department in Washington state. He shot and killed one man on duty in 2000 and another in 2001. He was licensed in both shootings, the department said Wednesday.
He worked with the department from 1994 to 2001 and resigned in 2003 after being called back by the United States Navy as an officer in charge.
A neighbor said that Prather caused problems with his neighbor. Court records showed that he had recently accused of assault and drinking in public.
Hetle was taken to the county jail on Tuesday and detained without restraint.
Anyone with information is invited to contact the police.
“Nobody deserved to die like that. I don’t care what kind of disagreement you’re having,” said Prather’s mother. “Nobody should be hit in cold blood and die like that.”
Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.