BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After arguing with his daughter’s boyfriend, Vernon McCollum walked to his room at the Manila Inn and grabbed a gun, police said.
He came back outside, fired a shot in the air then briefly returned to his room for his bicycle. As he left the Union Avenue motel he fired a round toward a room where the boyfriend ran for cover, according to police reports.
The round missed the boyfriend but hit a woman, an innocent bystander, the reports say. Sabrina Newshawn Shelton, 38, died at Kern Medical about an hour later.
McCollum, 63, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, attempted murder and other charges filed in the shooting that occurred just after 6 a.m. Aug. 3. Held without bail, he’s due back in court Wednesday.
Two witnesses identified McCollum as the shooter, according to the documents. McCollum told police he fired a “BB gun.”
During the police interview, McCollum said he told his daughter around 5 a.m. that her brother had been killed in Arizona. She began crying, McCollum told police, and an unidentified woman approached them and called him a rapist. They started arguing.
The boyfriend came outside upon hearing the commotion. McCollum told him to “stay out it” but he refused, McCollum told police.
That’s when he grabbed the gun, McCollum told investigators.
The boyfriend said after the first shot he ran to a room where a woman urged him to hide. As the door shut a second shot was heard and Shelton said she’d been hit, he said according to the documents.
He told police the gun was a “fully functional firearm,” not a BB gun, the reports say.
McCollum has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for spousal abuse, impersonating a peace officer and multiple driving-related offenses, according to court records.