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Kingsport Times

KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1927

SHOOTING FRAY CLIMAXES
AGED FAMILY DISPUTE

Two of Frazier Family Dead;
Slayer is Held

By JQHN M. OLIVER Staff Correspondent

GATE CITY, Va., Sept. 21.A dispute, lasting over a period of ten years, was ended yesterday afternoon with one of the most tragic shootings in the history of Scott county.

     Creed Frazier, sheriff of this county from 1920 to 1924, and his son Will Frazier, are dead, and John Barnett, confessed slayer of the two, is being held under close watch in the county jail here.

     Will Frazier was killed instantly when Barnett raised his high-powered 45.90 Winchester rifle and fired. Creed Frazier received a mortal wound through the breast as Barnett shot again, and died at 12:30 o'clock last night in the King's Mountain Memorial Hospital at Bristol. Barnett surrendered to Sheriff Charles Palmer at the river bridge at Speers Ferry, three miles from the scene of the shooting on the A. M. Irvin farm.

     Joint funeral for the two Fraziers will be held from the home of Creed Frazier near Daniel Boone Yard, west of Gate City, at two o'clock tomorrow afternoon. Rev. W. H. Graybeal, Rev. J. B. Craft and Rev. John Gulley, will be in charge of the services.  Interment will follow in a cemetery near the home. Pall bearers and flower bearers have not yet been named.

     The body of the elder Frazier was removed to his home there about two o'clock this morning.  His son's body was also taken there where they both lie in peaceful rest while numbers of friends of the two men are gathered about the home.

     Barnett, lodged in a very secure cell of the jail, has not been questioned since his surrender yesterday afternoon. His fear of mob violence was apparently the reason for his surrender. The Fraziers were well known throughout this section and their deaths have caused a profound shock to their many friends.

     Events leading up to the shooting thus far have not been definitely described. Sheriff Palmer today was in the vicinity of the shooting, conducting an investigation into the affair.

     The immediate cause of the trouble is said to have been a dispute over a timber purchase. John Frazier, son of Creed and younger brother of Will, stated that Barnett appeared at the saw mill operated by the Fraziers yesterday morning and threatened to kill Creed and Will. Later, however, Roy Frazier, another son of Creed Frazier attempted to effect a reconciliation between Barnett and his relatives and the three, Roy, Will and Creed, were going to see Barnett when the latter's bullets stopped them.

     Will Frazier was shot in the back, possibly in turning to run when told to do so by his father. Creed Frazier was shot just over the heart, the bullet penetrating the left lung and coming out under the left shoulder blade. He bled to death, it is thought, there being no possibility of stopping the internal blood flow.

     Barnett, in his brief statements to Sheriff Palmer yesterday, said that the Fraziers were armed although this has never been definitely proved. Thinking that they were coming to kill him, he fired, he said and stopped only when Roy pleaded with him, Roy saying that he had been trying ,to keep down trouble all day.

     First reports of the affair stated that Mahone Frazier, Creed's brother, had been killed also, but it later developed that he was in the woods cutting timber at the time.

     Barnett is 29 years of age.  He is the son of Tom Barnett and has a wife, formerly Lola Sloan, and several children.


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