Larry Keaton killed in Huntington shooting; Aaron Searls - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Larry Keaton killed in Huntington shooting; Aaron Searls charged

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Aaron Alexander Searls -- West Virginia Regional Jail Authority Aaron Alexander Searls -- West Virginia Regional Jail Authority
Larry John Keaton, 45, was shot and killed outside of a Huntington bar. Larry John Keaton, 45, was shot and killed outside of a Huntington bar.
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Updated 6 p.m. Monday Jan. 9

Around 3:30 a.m., two loud "banging sounds" were heard outside of The Lounge bar on Third Avenue.  According to witnesses, the banging sounds were followed by commotion and screams for help.

"I came outside…I called 911, trying not to get too close since I heard the bangs. I saw a guy laying on the ground on his back, a woman laying over top of him," said Jonathan McCarthy.

McCarthy heard the gunshots from his apartment across the street.  When he got to the scene, he heard a woman yelling 'I can't believe you shot him' and saw the suspect being held to the ground by other witnesses.

"I finally got out where the shooter was and he (witness) was holding him down.  I asked where the weapon was so I can make sure it was clear and it was by the victims head.  I walked over and kicked it out of the way," he added.

Huntington police say Larry John Keaton, 45, was shot point-blank three times.  The first shot was the fatal blow, nicking his heart.

At the scene, police arrested Aaron Alexander Searls, 27, of Huntington.  Searls is charged with one count of first degree murder.

Police are still investigating a possible altercation leading up to the shooting.  According to a news release, the altercation is believed to have been inside the bar.

13News spoke with a man who was in the bar that evening, Steve Swann.  According to Swann, there was arguing in the bar between Searls, Searls' brother, and a girlfriend.  Swann said Keaton and the shooter, Searls, did not know each other.

As the arguing continued, Swann and Keaton tried to calm the situation. 

Swann said some time had passed and things were calm.  He went to the bathroom, but when he returned he heard two bangs outside and ran to the scene.  At that point, he got on top of Searls yelling 'what have you done?'.  According to Swann, the shooter appeared to be in shock.

The general manager of The Lounge told 13News the bar has not had altercations like this before.

Huntington police have surveillance video they are using to investigate.


Original Story

One Huntington man was killed and another arrested after a shooting in Huntington early Monday morning.

Larry J. Keaton, 45, was killed in the 3:18 a.m. shooting outside The Lounge, 1513 Third Ave., according to a news release from the Huntington Police Department.

Aaron Alexander Searls, 27, was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder, the news release states.

The two men fought outside the bar, according to the news release. The exact cause of the fight was not reported Monday morning.

During the fight, Searls fired a handgun, the news release states. The bullet hit Keaton in the torso. Searls was detained at the scene by bar patrons.

Huntington police were continuing to investigate the shooting late Monday morning, according to the news release. Those with information can call their tip line at 304-696-4420.