Paul Allen Wilson had just taken his dog out for a walk in his Auburn neighborhood early Sunday morning when he and his pet were shot and killed just steps away from his home.
Not long afterward, police arrested Larry Bates, a neighbor with whom Wilson had an ongoing dispute, Auburn police spokesman Lt. C. Hodge told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“They’ve had issues in the past, but I’m not sure how long,” he said. Hodge said officials were still investigating why Bates would shoot his neighbor, but Wilson’s wife, Beth, said it all boiled down to one thing: their dog’s droppings.
“(Bates) just started harassing us about two months ago,” she told Channel 2 Action News. “He thought our dogs were using the bathroom in his yard.” Beth said the accusations were false.
The Wilsons had lived across the street from Bates on the 100 block of Crest Pointe Court for two years, according to Channel 2. Beth Wilson said the two men agreed two weeks ago to let bygones be bygones and move on, so she didn’t think it would come to this.
“I went to try and get (Paul’s) pulse,” she told Channel 2, “and I put my hand on his back and I felt him take his last breath.”
Bates was taken to the Barrow County Detention Center on murder and animal cruelty charges.
Now, Beth must cope with how she’ll continue without her husband of three years.
“I don’t know how I will ever recover from this,” she said. “He’s just taken everything away from me: my husband, my best friend, my future, our children that we could have had.”
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