By: E&P Staff
It was bound to happen sooner or later, and in what newspapers in Kentucky are calling a first, one American has killed another in a dispute over the Iraq war.
It happened at Floyd County flea market on Thursday, when two friends, who were firearms vendors there, drew guns after quarreling about the war. Douglas Moore, 65, of Martin, who backs the war, shot and killed Harold Wayne Smith, 56, of Manchester, who opposed it, according to investigators.
Moore was released without being charged after he convinced police he had acted in self-defense. A grand jury may yet hear evidence in the case.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner said the episode might mark the first death in the U.S. due to a dispute over the war.
One witness, Sam Hamman of Prestonsburg, told the Lexington Herald-Leader, “Harold was talking about the 14 people that were killed in Iraq the other day and Doug said that just as many people were killed on the highways here.?
This quickly escalated into an argument, then to a scuffle, and finally both men drew pistols outside a snack shed. The dead man was apparently just a little slower in firing. Witnesses said he stood for about five seconds before toppling on the walkway.
In a telephone interview with the Lexington paper yesterday, Moore said police had told him not to discuss his feelings about the Iraq war.
“I’m sorry this has happened,” Moore, a retired railroad worker, said. “But then what’s done can’t be undone.” Moore told the Lexington reporter he thinks Smith and his family knew him well enough “to know what my thoughts are, his family does, because me and Harold was friends. That’s all I’ll say.”
The daughter of the dead man said the two men were friends and had discussed Iraq before. She said her father “had different opinions than everybody. He felt it was wrong that all of these young people were losing their lives over what was going on. It was just a political disagreement, like a whole lot of people have.”