WILLIAMSON — A man from Florida will face charges of second-degree murder after police say he shot and killed a man during a road rage incident in Williamson on Thursday.
James Blaine Armstrong, 66, of Yulee, Florida, is named in a criminal complaint filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court on Thursday and signed by members of the Williamson City Police, the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police.
According to the complaint, Armstrong was traveling north on U.S. 119 in a white freightliner tractor-trailer. Eric Bennett Sammons, who is named as the victim, was driving a red Chevrolet Cruze and police say Sammons pulled in front of Armstrong at the intersection of U.S. 119 and U.S. 52 and blocked Armstrong.
Police say Sammons exited his vehicle, walked to the driver’s side door of the freightliner, and began “screaming and cussing” at Armstrong. As Sammons approached, Armstrong rolled his window down and Sammons opened the door.
That’s when Armstrong reportedly pulled a Ruger .380 pistol from his pocket and pointed it at Sammons, firing one shot. The bullet struck Sammons in the upper chest, and he fell to the ground and died.
Armstrong is charged with second-degree murder and is behind bars at Southwestern Regional Jail on a $200,000 cash-only bond.
Armstrong is represented by attorney Jeffrey Simpkins, and he has claimed self-defense in the incident, saying that Sammons was getting into a physical altercation and he had no other choice. Armstrong called 911 following the shooting.
Sammons was from the area, according to Williamson Police.