Benton County shooting victim identified

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- Deputies identified the man found dead at his home Friday afternoon. Officials say Jerry L. Barton, 53, appeared to have died from a fatal gunshot wound.

It's a peaceful stretch of road. Open, rural land, rolling hills, quiet. But Friday afternoon, this scene changed. A man shot to death and deputies swarming to investigate. The day after, neighbors expressed concern.

"Never had a problem. Never had to lock my house. But I have to now, though," said neighbor Don Evanson.

Evanson has lived in the area for over ten years. He says news of the shooting was surprising, as he hasn't noticed any danger before.

"I've never really seen any problems in the past over there," added Evanson.

Deputies released a 24 year old after questioning him for allegedly firing the fatal shot.

Deputies tell Action News they believe all parties involved have been contacted. No charges have been filed. Late Saturday night, still few details are known about exactly what happened at the East Bowles home.

"They are great people, and I was extremely worried about them," said neighbor Brenda Kelly.

Everyone KEPR talked to and knew the family spoke highly of them.

"You could ask them to do anything for you and they're always willing to come help," said Kelly.

KEPR spoke with one neighbor who was close to the family. They say they're not worried about the danger of the community and say others shouldn't be either. While neighbors may lock-up, they tell me they feel safe.

"It's a quiet area, you know, people stick to their own business," said Ben Steverson.

"I feel good out here. I mean, I'm not going to pick up and move anywhere anytime soon," said Kelly.

Hoping to protect a serene community moving forward.