A Gassville man, 27-year-old Justin Lee Thompson, has been arrested and charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, after he allegedly shot a woman at point-blank range Monday. Conflicting accounts of the incident have left law enforcement piecing the details of the case together for the past three days.
According to the probable cause affidavit released Thursday afternoon, a Gassville Police officer responded to a report of a person being shot in the chest at a residence along Tallwood Lane.
The victim, 27-year-old Sarah Orms, was unable to answer questions about the incident.
Two witnesses, including Thompson, stated the gunshot was self-inflicted.
When the officer asked the location of the weapon, Thompson accompanied him to an area about 30 feet away, where the handgun was found hidden under rubbish.
Thompson reportedly said he had hidden the handgun because he was scared due to being on probation. Thompson told the officer the gun belonged to his mother.
The second witness, 27-year-old Taryn Cleveland of Gassville, told the officer the firearm belonged to Thompson, who had just purchased it from his mother.
During further questioning at Baxter Regional Medical Center, where Cleveland had accompanied the victim, she told law enforcement again Thompson had purchased the gun from his mother about a week prior for $50 to allow the woman to cover bills.
On Tuesday, Thompson’s mother arrived at the Gassville Police Department and admitted she had sold the weapon to Thompson, saying, “I thought he took care of those felonies.”
During the interview, investigators received a call from BRMC advising Orms was awake after surgery and had reportedly said her significant other, Thompson, had shot her.
Cleveland was called back to the police department and advised of Orms’ statement, conflicting with hers.
The woman allegedly told investigators Thompson delayed her call for medical assistance until she agreed to stick to the story the shooting was accidentally self-inflicted.
Officers went to BRMC where Orms said adamantly Thompson pulled the handgun out of his back pocket, and although it may have been accidental, did in fact shoot her.
She also said the incident would be recorded on the home surveillance system.
On Wednesday, Thompson allegedly told officers he didn’t mean to shoot Orms, and it was an accident.
When asked about the shooting being on the surveillance system, he said he didn’t think it was recording. However, he reportedly admitted deleting everything on the DVR.
Wednesday evening, law enforcement received a call from Department of Human Services investigators saying the older of the two children shared by Orms and Thompson had heard the shot, ran outside, and saw “daddy standing with a gun in his hand.”
Thompson is also facing felony charges of tampering with physical evidence and possession of firearms by certain persons, meaning he is a convicted felon, as well as misdemeanor counts of interference with emergency communication and endangering the welfare of a minor.
He is being held in the Baxter County Detention Center on a bond of $250,000.
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