La Plata man arrested after allegedly shooting at hunters
A La Plata man has been charged in a shooting incident in which he allegedly shot at boaters who were hunting on Nanjemoy Creek last Saturday night.
Austin Lee Tippett, 23, of La Plata has been charged with several counts of first- and second-degree assault in relation to the alleged shooting, which reportedly took place off of Helwig Farm Road.
According to court documents victims Andrew David Fox, John David Boyd, Bryan Cory Bond and Joseph Ian Haycock were all hunting on Nanjemoy Creek and had an exchange of words with Tippett about owning the property. The men told Tippett that he did not own the water.
According to court documents, Tippett asked the boaters to not go to the pier because he was going to hunt bullfrogs, and shortly thereafter they observed Tippett allegedly shooting in their direction. Tippett reloaded the weapon he was using and continued to shoot in their direction.
Fox, Boyd, Bond and Haycock turned their boat lights
off and, according to court documents, they heard another five to 10 more shots. The victims yelled at Tippett to stop shooting in their direction as they could all see and hear rounds skipping off the water in front of their boat. The victims took cover by laying down in the boat. Per court documents, approximately 15 to 20 shots were fired in their direction.
After the shooting subsided, the men contacted police and Charles County Sheriff’s Officer Fenlon arrived on the scene shortly after 10 p.m. Fenlon asked Tippett about the alleged shooting and Tippett denied shooting anything, claiming he was lighting off firecrackers. Shell casings were found and Tippett was asked by Fenlon where he put the gun. Tippett took Fenlon into the woods where weapons were located. Court documents state that a Marlin .22 caliber rifle fully loaded with 17 rounds, a Browning .22 handgun fully loaded with 11 rounds and a Ruger loaded with nine rounds were found. Tippett also had a live .22 round in his back left pocket.
Tippett was charged with four counts of first-degree assault, four counts of second-degree assault and four counts of reckless endangerment, according to court records.