A 20-year-old Jackson County man is dead. What investigators must determine is whether Michael Pittman's overnight shooting death was murder, or self defense.
Jackson County investigators said the altercation at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday night had something to do with a stolen cell phone, and quite possibly, drugs.
"I think it's drug related," Sheriff Mike Byrd confirmed.
Investigators got search warrant to go through the house after the shooting. They found $4,500 in cash, and some drugs.
"We found some crack cocaine outside, not very much," Byrd said.
It was enough to get the attention of the county's narcotics task force and the FBI. Both agencies were called to the home to dig up details surrounding the Old Fort Bayou Road shooting.
"The deceased had called the two guys that live at 4512 Old Fort Bayou Road and told them he was going to come over there and do harm to them," Byrd learned.
The man who reportedly made the threat was Michael Pittman. Yet, as he approached a car in the driveway, the sheriff says Pittman got shot twice, by a 17-year-old. One bullet hit his hand. The coroner says the other pierced his lung.
"At the moment, we have no one charged at this time, because it appears to be, according to the witness, a self defense shooting," the sheriff said.
A Jackson County Chevron near I-10 became part of the story when an unidentified woman grabbed Pittman away from the shooting scene, and drove the bleeding 20-year-old to the Highway 609 convenience store. She parked between pumps four and five, ran inside, and screamed for help.
David Lamey was the clerk on duty.
"She said he had been shot. 'I think he might be dead,'" Lamey remembered 12 hours later. "And she asked me to call 911. And that's what I did."
Sheriff Byrd says a grand jury will ultimately determine if charges are filed in the Old Fort Bayou Road shooting.
Authorities have not recovered the gun used late Tuesday night to kill Michael Pittman. They've been told it was thrown in the water in nearby Fort Bayou. Jackson County's dive team will be sent into that bayou to retrieve the weapon.