Shooting under investigation

By Ryan Carter

January 25, 2014

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that hospitalized a Washington Court House man on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 22.

According to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, his office received a call at 7:55 p.m. Wednesday from Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) reporting that a man walked into the hospital with a gunshot wound. The victim, identified as Marcus J. Francis, 31, of Washington Court House, was treated at FCMH and later transferred to a Columbus-area hospital for further treatment.

The investigation revealed that Francis, a passenger in a 1998 Ford Explorer registered to the vehicle’s driver, Carrie Mitchell of Washington Court House, arrived at a residence located at 315 Clemens Road, southwest of New Holland. Upon pulling in the driveway, it was reported that multiple gun shots were fired into the passenger door area of the vehicle, striking Francis in the leg and hand.

Following the incident, Mitchell reportedly drove Francis to FCMH for medical treatment. Deputies responded to the home along with detectives from the Sheriff’s Office, identifying the occupants of the home and initiating an investigation.

Sheriff’s detectives conducted several interviews throughout the overnight hours. Cary L. Howland, 31, of London, was arrested and incarcerated in the Fayette County Jail on a charge of violating his probation and is considered a “person of interest” in the reported shooting incident. However, no charges have been filed in connection with last evening’s incident.

The motive for the shooting is also unknown.

Sheriff’s detectives are continuing their investigation of the incident and additional information will be released as it becomes available.