A Bowling Green man arrested on suspicion of murder following the shooting death of his girlfriend’s son faces additional charges.
A Warren County grand jury indicted Harold Bell, 52, on Wednesday on charges of murder, first-degree assault, first-degree wanton endangerment and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
Bell is accused of shooting Desmon Cunningham, 32, of Bowling Green, late April 24 or early April 25 after the two had gotten into an argument outside the Woodford Street home of Cunningham’s mother.
At a preliminary hearing last month in Warren District Court, Detective Sean Johnson of the Bowling Green Police Department testified that witnesses reported seeing Bell and Cunningham involved in a physical altercation outside the home.
After Bell was asked by Cunningham’s mother to leave, he and Cunningham got into another altercation that led to Bell pulling out a handgun and attempting to strike Cunningham with it, Johnson said.
Travious Russell intervened, getting between the two in an effort to prevent further fighting, Johnson said.
With Bell on the ground and Russell between him and Desmon Cunningham, Bell fired a shot that went through Russell’s forearm and struck Cunningham in the chest, Johnson said.
At the time the shot was fired, Desmon Cunningham was believed to be at Bell’s feet and Russell was between the two, the detective said.
“Everyone scattered and started running,” Johnson said. “No one knew the full effects of what happened until the next morning.”
The first-degree assault charge against Bell stems from the arm injury Russell suffered in the incident and the first-degree wanton endangerment charge is based on an allegation that Bell put another person, Terry Shobe, in danger through his actions, according to the indictment.
Russell returned to the house the morning after the incident and saw Cunningham’s body, and city police established Bell as a suspect through interviews with witnesses.
Bell was located April 25 in Jefferson County, Ill., by Illinois State Police and was arrested.
Johnson said in district court that law enforcement believed Bell was traveling to St. Louis, where he has relatives.
Johnson and BGPD Detective Kyle Scharlow interviewed Bell in jail in Illinois.
“(Bell) made several statements about why he fired the shot,” Johnson said. “One was that he was in fear of his life, one was that he was trying to shoot in the air and another statement he made was that he was trying to scare Desmon a little bit.”
Bell referred to the shooting as an accident and told police he panicked in the aftermath, which led him to attempt to drive to St. Louis, Johnson said.
Bell remains in Warren County Regional Jail under a $100,000 cash bond. He is set to appear Tuesday for an arraignment before Warren Circuit Judge John Grise.