Walton County Sheriff’s Office reports that it was the victim’s own gun that caused the death of Scott Ashley Rager, 41, of Kennesaw, Ga., over the weekend. Rager, a Marine veteran, died in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 18, of a gunshot wound. Fellow Marine veteran, Daniel Tabor Reed, 38, of Atlanta, is currently in Walton County Detention Center charged with aggravated assault and felony murder in connection with the shooting.
According to Lt. Kirk McLeroy with WCSO, both Rager and Reed were visiting a homeowner in the Woodlake subdivision in Walton County on Friday evening and at some point, a dispute escalated to the point that Reed shot Rager.
“It is my understanding that both of them came to visit the homeowner, who only knew Reed. They were socializing, just hanging out and having some drinks,” Leroy said. “At some time during the course of the evening, Rager was demonstrating some sparing techniques. They were on the back deck and the homeowner went to the bathroom. He said when he returned, Reed and Rager were squared off. He said he then heard the shot. He said prior to him going to the bathroom, everything seemed fine.”
McLeroy said when the homeowner returned, it was Rager’s gun that was in Reed’s hand, but McLeroy said they were all familiar with guns and there were other guns in the home. According to the WCSO incident report, the fatal shooting took place at about 1:34 a.m. on Saturday morning. McLeroy said although the men were drinking, it did not appear to be excessive, based on the number of empty containers.
McLeroy said he is not sure of Rager’s service record in the Marine Corps at this time, but Reed served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and was a Purple Heart recipient.
Reed had a preliminary hearing in Walton County Magistrate’s Court on Monday, at which time he was denied bond. He is expected to appear in Walton County Superior Court on July 20.