Verbal argument leads to deadly shooting at Henry County gas station

55-year-old Mack Watkins shot in the chest; suspect arrested


HENRY COUNTY, Va. – Crime scene tape and Henry County sheriff’s deputies surrounded BG’s Express gas station on Carver Road for most of the day Thursday.

Gas station owner Mohammad Yasar was inside when the shooting happened.

“Somebody came in the store and told my wife somebody got shot,” Yasar said.

When he looked outside, he was in disbelief.

“When I looked at the car, I couldn’t believe that he got shot. He’s a nice guy. I’ve known him for 20 years. He never bothered anybody,” Yasar said.

According to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the victim is 55-year-old Mack Watkins.

Maj. Eric Winn said the shooting is the result of a verbal argument between the victim and the suspect.

”At this point, we believe it to be domestic related," Winn said late Thursday afternoon. "We think the suspect spotted the victim here pumping gas and stopped.”

Cellphone video from an employee at a gas station about a mile away on Highway 58 west shows the suspect, 75-year-old William Matthews, being arrested at that gas station about an hour after the shooting.

“The witness that was here with the victim was able to give out the name and the description of the vehicle," Winn said. "Virginia State Police was in the area helping us and one of the troopers spotted that suspect vehicle.”

Matthews is charged with first-degree murder and using a gun to commit first-degree murder.

Yasar said this is the second case of gunfire at his gas station in the past few months.

“I live behind the store. I’ve got four kids. Maybe what I’ll do next week is close my back parking lot,” Yasar said.

While he is concerned, he said he is thankful for the Sheriff’s Office’s quick response and thorough investigation.

Winn asked for the public's help as the investigation continues.

"We ask anyone who may have been here at the store prior to our arrival, anyone traveling on the highway– as you see, it’s a busy intersection. If anyone has seen anything, please give the Sheriff’s Office a call," Winn said.

Matthews was not cooperating with investigators Thursday, according to Winn, so what the argument that led to the shooting was about was unknown Thursday.