Wayne County man held in shooting at lake

Thursday, April 11, 2002

WAPPAPELLO, Mo. -- Details remained sketchy Wednesday as Wayne County authorities continued to investigate an early morning shooting at Rockwood Point.

The victim, Michael Brooks, was treated and released from Three Rivers Healthcare-North Campus in Poplar Bluff, Mo., for a gunshot wound to the left shoulder and chest, said Wayne County sheriff's deputy Bobby Burch.

As Brooks recovers from his injuries, his alleged attacker, 65-year-old Patrick Freeman, is being held in the Wayne County Jail pending the filing of formal charges.

Burch said the sheriff's department learned of the alleged shooting from the Butler County Sheriff's Department.

A call reportedly came into the Butler County Sheriff's Department at 2:32 a.m.

Butler County sheriff's deputies responded to the victim and learned the incident had happened in Wayne County, said Butler County Sheriff Bill Heaton.

The victim had walked from where he was shot into Butler County to a residence to call for help.

Burch said that the alleged shooting took place at Freeman's residence on Rockwood Point -- at the "very end" of County Road 510 and past Barrett's Marina.

There were three people, including Brooks and Freeman, at the residence at the time of the shooting, Burch said.

Brooks and Freeman had "just met yesterday," Burch said.

The motive for the alleged shooting is not being released, Burch said, adding: "We think we know what it is. We need to talk to the victim" and get his account of the incident.

Freeman, who allegedly shot Brooks once with a small-caliber handgun, was arrested without incident shortly after Wayne County authorities arrived at his residence, Burch said.

He was booked at the county jail on suspicion of armed criminal action and second-degree assault.

Burch said Freeman has made a statement to authorities about the incident, which is still under investigation.

A weapon has been recovered, he said.

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