Man shoots neighbor to death after dispute

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

Carter Clayton III

WEST GOSHEN — A dispute between neighbors turned deadly when a man shot his next door neighbor on Box Elder Drive in the head twice, killing him immediately in the early morning hours, Tuesday.

Carter Clayton III, 51, was charged with the killing of G. Brooks Jennings, after a dispute over headlights shining into Clayton’s home, just after 1 a.m. After an argument, Clayton pulled out his .380 Ruger and shot Jennings in the head — who was in his own yard — causing the victim to fall to the ground. Clayton then walked over to the man and shot him again in the head.

“It is a sad situation when neighbors can’t put their differences aside for the sake of a peaceful community,” West Goshen Township Police Chief Joseph Gleason said in a statement. “Such a senseless circumstance which only results in tragedy for multiple families.”

Clayton apparently had a long-running dispute with Jennings — even pulling a gun on him previously. Clayton also, police said, had numerous disputes with other neighbors. Police were called to the home Monday night just before 8 p.m. to settle a dispute between the two related to cursing and a video recording in the back yard.

But the dispute flared up again around 1 .m. when Jennings apparently returned from a shopping trip, when Clayton claimed the victim was shining a light in his eyes. Clayton then moved his car onto his lawn to shine his high beams on the victim, prompting a further verbal dispute. Police said that was when Clayton got his gun and confronted Jennings, before firing the deadly shots.

After his arrest, police said that Clayton claimed that Jennings had threatened him with a knife, but Clayton had no wounds. A knife was recovered at the scene. Police noted that Clayton did not render assistance following the shooting or call police.

“The West Goshen Township Police Department and Chester County Detectives did an excellent job responding quickly and efficiently to this homicide,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said in a statement. “This killing leaves a wife without a husband, a little boy without his father, and a community in shock and mourning.”

Clayton faces murder and associated charges. He is in custody at Chester County Prison.

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