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Heated argument between resident and naked man led to Riverton shooting

RIVERTON – A man is in stable condition after being shot in the face.  However, he’ll most likely be booked into jail as soon as he’s released from the hospital.


Witnesses say the argument before the fight between Derrick Palmer and a Riverton resident was loud enough for the neighborhood to hear.  One woman who wants to stay anonymous says she could hear it from her deck behind that street.  She says, “I heard two men yelling back and forth.  They were squabbling.  Then, within a few minutes, I heard two distinct gunshots.”

Investigators say Palmer became extremely intoxicated, removed all his clothes then started walking in the street.  A nearby father saw this and an argument started.  Palmer reportedly put some of his clothes back on and Unified Police Lieutenant Brian Lohrke says the resident was able to pin Palmer, but then tried to get him to leave.  “At some point, the homeowner gets up and the suspect gets up and instead of leaving, he continues to follow the homeowner.  He follows him close to the garage, where another verbal argument ensues.”

That’s when Lohrke says Palmer pulled out a knife and either dropped it or tossed it.  The other man shot Palmer twice, once in the chest and once in the jaw.  Lohrke believes the shooter was properly following self-defense laws.  “If you feel a threat from somebody, you don’t have to retreat as your first action of self-defense.  You can stand your ground,” Lohrke says.