“They gave me no choice,” Antwon Starkey said. Starkey, 30, of Huntington, sat down for with 13News for an interview at the Western Regional Jail Thursday afternoon. He walked into the room in an orange jumpsuit, his hands and feet both in handcuffs, and sat down at a table across from us.
Starkey said he had only been married two days when he gunned down 25-year-old LaFredrick McEachin.
“Sometimes situations happen that even the people in them can’t control. And I want my wife to know I love her, the kids to know I love them,” Starkey said.
Starkey said he killed McEachin because in the midst of McEachin attempting to shoot him, McEachin is the one who shot his 14-year-old stepdaughter the night of November 29 in the 200 block of 5th Avenue.
Starkey said he wasn’t out to get McEachin. But when Starkey saw him at Huntington Mart on Hal Greer Boulevard Tuesday morning, Starkey said McEachin spoke to him and that’s when he lost it.
“I ran into him and even when I initially seen him I still didn’t react. It wasn’t until he tried to say he didn’t do what he did – when i know for a fact he did,” Starkey said.
Many area residents have expressed concern and questioned if recent shootings are because of turf wars. Captain Hank Dial with the Huntington Police Department said that simply wasn’t true at a recent public safety meeting. Starkey agreed.
“Nah, it’s not a turf war. I’ve been down here too long; they can have turf. I don’t care about no turf. There’s no such thing as that. The people of Huntington are safe,” Starkey said.
Starkey admitted what he did was wrong. “You know I wasn’t in that truck. You didn’t care. And I know what I did was wrong, I’m not trying to justify it. It was wrong,” Starkey said.
When asked why McEachin would be shooting at him in the first place, Starkey said it was because someone had ordered a hit on him. Starkey said there was a $30,000 hit ordered on him and a $20,000 hit ordered on his wife because of his past.
“I just want to let people know what position I was in, ” Starkey said. “They thought I was a punk. They thought I was a coward for trying to talk to them to kill the situation. I said I don’t care what you do to me, leave my family alone.”
When asked how Starkey knew it was McEachin that shot his stepdaughter, Starkey said it was because McEachin had tried to shoot at him two days before his stepdaughter was shot.
“I knew it was him because two days before that he tried to kill me, in broad daylight, on 24th and 10th,” Starkey said, “but I didn’t care.”
Starkey went on to say he was in control of his actions up to a certain point. He said he made eye contact with McEachin as he opened the door to walk inside Huntington Mart that Tuesday morning.
“It all just came flashing back – that night. Seeing my wife cry. I can’t do nothing to help her. My daughter is going to the hospital. She’s bleeding. Blood all over my house. All of it came back – like flashed,” Starkey said. “I reacted. I wasn’t carrying no gun around to try to find him or nothing like that.”
Starkey said the people who were after him caught him with his wife and kids on three different occasions.
“When the little kids had the turf bowl game at Marshall, you can pull up their footage. You can see me and my girl with our two kids and there’s a dude in front at the stadium and he clutching a gun telling me he’ll leave me where I stand,” Starkey said. “And I don’t have no pistol. How many times can I go through that. How many times can my wife go through that.”
Starkey said this wasn’t something he wanted to do but there was a bounty on his, his wife, and his brother’s head and he had no choice.
When we asked Starkey if he knew who shot Taylor Wheeler, the 28-year-old who was killed Monday, Dec. 11 in the 2500 block of 5th Avenue, Starkey said he had just been at her home hours before she was killed.
“No I don’t, but that’s crazy because, to be honest, I was buying smoke from her,” Starkey said. “And I had just got a bag at 10 o’clock that night.” He said he thinks it was someone she knew because he said there was no forced entry. He said he thinks it’s someone she knew.
Starkey told 13News who ordered the hit on him.
“His name is Raeshaun Byrd, Ray Murder,” Starkey said.