Hearing set for former councilman in shooting

May 2, 2019

HUNTINGTON — A preliminary hearing has been set for a former Huntington City Council member and mayoral candidate accused of shooting another man following an argument Saturday.

Thomas Scott McCallister, 78, is facing a felony charge of malicious wounding after shooting Ron McDowell, 38, according to a criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court.

McCallister will have a preliminary hearing at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 3, in magistrate court to determine if enough probable cause exists to move the case forward.

McDowell, of Huntington, remained in critical condition at Cabell Huntington Hospital as of Tuesday evening.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Huntington Police Detective Andre Jackson, McCallister shot McDowell in the neck at approximately 4:10 p.m. near McCallister’s home in the 400 block of West 3rd Street.

Witnesses reported McDowell was in an argument and being held at gunpoint by two men, Jackson said in the complaint.

The two men were later identified as McCallister and his brother, Johnny McCallister, according to the complaint. Witnesses then reported Thomas McCallister fired one shot, striking McDowell in the neck, Jackson said.

“Thomas McCallister advised responding officers that he did in fact shoot the victim,” according to the complaint.

Thomas McCallister was arrested and ordered held in Western Regional Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bail Saturday. At some point Sunday, his bail was lowered to $30,000 and he was released after posting it, according to booking records kept at the jail.

It is unclear if he has an attorney.

When reached by phone Tuesday, McCallister declined to comment on the matter.

McCallister was a City Council member representing District 2 from 2001 to 2004. He unsuccessfully ran on the Republican ticket against Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, a Democrat, in the 2016 general election.

Johnny McCallister is a retired Cabell County magistrate, having left the seat earlier this month following a 50-year career. He did not respond to a phone call message to his personal cellphone Tuesday.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.