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Jonesville man charged in Friendship Speedway shooting

A Jonesville man on federal probation has been charged following a shooting at Friendship Motor Speedway in Elkin on Saturday night.

According to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting took place shortly after 9:32 Saturday after an argument broke out. Two off duty deputies with the Surry County Sheriff’s Office were working security at Friendship Motor Speedway in Elkin when they were notified of the shooting.

Yosef Amiel Handy, of 110 South Jonesville Boulevard, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflecting serious injury and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Injured in the shooting were Marty Allan Benge, of Boonville, and Devan Ray Gaddy, of Grover. Both received non-life threatening gunshot wounds. Benge and Gaddy received medical treatment for their injuries and were transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

During the investigation, detectives found out that Handy is on federal probation. Detectives have reached out to Handy’s federal probation officer so that they are aware of the incident.

Handy was jailed under a $350,000 secured bond with a scheduled Sept. 28 court date.

A press release from the Surry County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday said the incident began when an altercation occurred between Benge and another man named Brandon Collins.

Benge, who received a non-lethal gunshot to the side of his head near his left ear, said that the initial altercation was not between him and Collins but with another person at the track.

Benge said he was at Friendship Speedway on Saturday for a four-wheeler race he helped to organize. Benge has raced before at the speedway and is also involved in four-wheel racing on the national circuit. Supporting his brother who was racing on Saturday was also part of why Benge said he was at the track.

“I had my kid and my brother with me,” he explained. “My brother’s a Mount Airy firefighter, it was 9/11 and he won his first race. His whole fire department was there. It was something for him. It was something we wanted to do on 9/11.”

Benge said the venue often has families there and he had his 11-year old daughter with him.

The argument that lead to the shooting “had nothing to do with racing, period” Benge said, adding that it was very uncommon for this type of thing to happen.

“I’m 30 years old and I’ve been racing since I was three years old, I’ve never seen a gun shot at a race track,” Benge said.

According to Benge, the other victim, Gaddy, was shot first and the bullet then hit him though he did not even realize it at first.

“When the gunshot went off, my ear went to ringing,” he said. “As soon as I heard it I hit the ground. I didn’t know if I’d been hit or not. My ear was deaf.”

Benge said he then began making his way to the trailer of Joey Johnson, another racer and local police officer.

“One of his crew members grabbed me and said, ‘You’ve been shot, you’ve been shot,’” he said.

“It was a very scary situation, it should have never escalated to that point,” Benge added.

As Benge was being loaded into the ambulance for transport he took a smiling photo of himself announcing he had been shot and posted it to Facebook, a move for which he has gotten some backlash.

“I didn’t post it to make fun of the shooting or make fun of anything,” Benge explained. “I posted it because my phone was ringing off the hook.”

He added that the paramedic kept him laughing as a way to keep him awake on the way to the hospital due to the head injury.

He said the Facebook post was to let his friends know that he was fine as social media soon went wild with news of the shooting.

Benge said Mike Gatton, one of the lease holders for the racetrack, had been in contact with him to check on him following the shooting. However, he added, he was upset over a social media video posted to the Speedway’s Facebook page that puts blame on the shooting victims.

A rambling 40-minute live feed posted to the Friendship Motor Speedway around 5 p.m. on Sunday addressed the incident.

“We want to apologize to everybody at the racetrack last night. That’s definitely not something we ever expected, not something we condone. It’s pretty shocking to say the least. We just want to apologize to everybody at the track last night for some people’s behavior, just to be blunt, ignorant, plain as day, there’s no way around it,” Bundy Stowe begins in the video.

He goes on to say that anyone involved with the incident will not be allowed back.

Stowe also adamantly states the racetrack and anyone involved in running the business should not be held responsible for the incident.

“Nobody could have prevented what happened other than the people involved, period,” Stowe said during the live feed. “They both put themselves in that situation of fighting in the pits.”

Anyone with additional information that could assist with the investigation is asked to call the Surry County Sheriff’s Office at 336-401-8934 and speak with Detective Mark Ward.

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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