Dispute at park ends in shooting

Police say an argument at the Walla Walla Dog Park led to violence.

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WALLA WALLA -- Police today are continuing an investigation into a shooting at Fort Walla Walla Park on Sunday.

Police were called to the park at 6:41 p.m. for the reported shooting. According to reports, a Walla Walla man, Terry E. Bickford, 59, had been shot in the right thigh with a handgun. He was taken to a local hospital, but no information on his condition was available today.

Officer Tim Bennett, city police spokesman, said Bickford and another man, Tyler B. Larson, 22, College Place, had been in Walla Walla Dog Park when they became involved in an argument. According to a police report, Larson said he had seen Bickford being verbally abusive toward a woman and physically abusing her dog, at which time he intervened.

In a release, Bennett said that "as the situation became more heated, the subjects left the fenced K9 area of the park and continued their disagreement a short distance away." A few moments later, Larson allegedly fired a semiautomatic handgun at Bickford, striking him in the thigh.

Larson, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was taken into custody at the scene, but released after an interview with a detective at the police station, Bennett said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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