WAGARVILLE, Alabama — An Alabama man and his son shot each other dead after getting in a fight over a family dog, which the younger man had killed for trying to attack a child.
When Kelvin James Coker, 60, discovered his dog had been shot on Saturday, he drove to the home of his 32-year-old son, Kelvin Nicholas Coker, who admitted killing the animal, cops said.
As the argument grew heated, James opened first, striking his son in the torso, cop said.
Nicholas returned fire with a shotgun, hitting his father in the neck. Both men died from their wounds.
The sheriff called the family ‘very dysfunctional.’
Chief investigator Blake Richardson of the Washington County Sheriff’s office, told WALA-TV that the dispute began when Nicholas opened fire on four of the family’s dogs, after one of the animals started attacking his girlfriend’s young daughter.
Moments later, James arrived at his son’s home in his truck and an argument erupted. During the confrontation, Nicholas pointed his shotgun at his father who drew a handgun and shot his son, cops said..
A mortally wounded Nicholas then returned fire and killed his father.
‘It’s unfortunate that they would not value human life not any more than that,’ Richardson said.
Nicholas’ girlfriend, Ariel Anderson, has disputed the official version of events, claiming that her boyfriend did not kill his father, but rather that James took his own life after killing his son in a fit of anger.
‘Nic Coker did not kill his daddy and they did not have an argument!!’ she wrote on Facebook. ‘Nic was protecting my daughter from his and his dads pitbulls that were hurting her and his dad just showed up and shot him because he was mad that Nic killed his dog then he shot himself!’
However, investigators have defended their initial findings, saying that the coroner’s unofficial report shows James could not have committed suicide.
‘I’m very confident that’s how the events unfolded, we try and let the evidence speak for everything and make sure everything is considering with our witness statements and right now we believe that’s the case.’ Richardson told WKRG-TV.
Sheriff’s officials said they have responded to multiple violent incidents involving the Cokers over the years. In 2012, James was charged with first-degree assault for shooting his other son three times.