Originally created 11/20/02

Man is shot in confrontation



Police say a Quebecor World material handler was shot after an argument with a co-worker Tuesday morning.

The victim, identified as Willie Sherman Jr., 26, of the 3600 block of Fairfax Circle, Augusta, was a passenger in a blue Ford Expedition parked outside the Circle K convenience store at Old Petersburg and Old Evans roads about 8:20 a.m., police said.

According to authorities, Jerry Leverette, 36, of the 2600 block of Royal Street in Augusta, walked up to the vehicle just before a shot was fired through the front passenger-side window. Mr. Sherman was struck in the hand and side, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, said Capt. Steve Morris of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

"The context of the argument is still unclear, but obviously not settled," Capt. Morris said. "Once they left work at Quebecor, there was a confrontation at Circle K."

Nate Payne, who was pumping gas at the time of the incident, said he saw a man walk to a car and get a handgun. Mr. Payne said his back was turned when the incident occurred, but he said he heard two or three shots fired.

Police said Mr. Leverette left the scene in an older-model blue Mercedes, traveling north on Old Evans Road. He was later found at a residence at 622 King Taylor Road. He was taken into custody without incident. Authorities recovered a .380 semiautomatic pistol believed to have been used in the shooting, Capt. Morris said.

Mr. Sherman, who was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, was in fair condition Tuesday afternoon, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Mr. Leverette was taken to the Columbia County jail, where he was charged with aggravated assault, Capt. Morris said. Bond was set at $15,050.

Reach Melissa Hall at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 113, or melhall@augustachronicle.com.