Thanksgiving Day scuffle lands one in jail after dropped gun discharges

Michael D. Smith
William Lawrence Lee

One person was arrested and two others could face charges after altercations on Thanksgiving that involved a minor and a firearm.

Ardmore police were dispatched to a home in the 300 block of 12th Avenue Northwest around 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26, for reports of a disturbance and a gunshot, according to police records. 

Ardmore police Capt. Claude Henry on Tuesday said investigators discovered the situation started at a nearby gas station, where 26-year-old William Lawrence Lee and a juvenile had reportedly been in an argument in which Lee was accused of punching the juvenile.

Sometime later, a man identified as Thomas Welch, Sr. went to the home of Lee’s wife where a second altercation took place, according to Henry. Welch, who is related to the juvenile and has a relationship with Lee’s former girlfriend, reportedly got into an altercation when Lee dropped a firearm.

“During the altercation, the pistol apparently had fallen out of his waistband and discharged,” Henry said.

Nobody was injured when the firearm discharged, according to Henry. Investigators are still trying to determine the timeline of events and Henry said surveillance footage from the incident still needs to be reviewed.

Lee was arrested for child abuse and booked into the Carter County Jail. He was released on Saturday but also faces charges for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Henry said Welch and the juvenile could also face charges of assault and battery. 

Henry said the information has been forwarded to the district attorney’s office where charges against all three will be further considered.