Philip Norwood’s part-time employee at the kennel he owns in Ridgecrest showed up more than 30 minutes late for work the afternoon of May 6.
When the woman’s husband arrived shortly afterward and the couple started arguing, Norwood was quick to act. He twice told the husband, Michael Davis, he needed to leave the property, according to court documents that became available Tuesday.
Davis, 35, walked toward his truck, but turned around and began arguing with his wife again. Norwood, 67, armed himself with a gun, pointed it at Davis and told him if he didn’t leave he was going to shoot him.
Davis said, “Go ahead,” according to Norwood’s statement to investigators.
Norwood fired once and Davis collapsed. With help from Davis’ wife, he loaded the wounded man into a pickup and took him to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, where he died.
Norwood fled but was arrested after later returning to his home, also the site of Cameo Kennels, in the 1500 block of South Nolan Street.
During questioning, a sheriff’s investigator informed him of Davis’ death.
“I never expected him not to leave, what the hell is wrong with him?” the documents said Norwood told the investigator. “Well, he’s dead now.”
Norwood has pleaded not guilty to murder and is being held on $1 million bail. He’s next due in court June 14.
According to court documents, Norwood admitted it was a mistake to arm himself, but said he was afraid of Davis and believed the man, more than 30 years younger than he was, could have harmed him. Davis was unarmed.
The weapon used in the shooting, a .38-caliber revolver, was found in a bedroom of Norwood’s house.
Davis’ wife told investigators her husband was not a threat to her as they argued, scoffing at the possibility Norwood was trying to protect her.
She said she was walking away when she heard the gunshot, the documents said. She turned around and saw Davis walk toward the kennel’s office then turn around and walk back to where he was shot. He then collapsed.
Norwood stood over Davis with the gun pointed at him, the documents said the woman told investigators. Believing Norwood was going to fire a second round, she pushed his hand away and they rushed to get him to the hospital.
Norwood’s wife was informed of the incident after she returned home. She said her husband would probably try to blame her, the documents said.
She told investigators Norwood had had a temper when he was younger and that he had threatened to shoot co-workers when he was fired from a job, the documents said. She said he was arrested, but the case didn’t go anywhere because it was determined the co-workers had lied.
In 2003, Norwood pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, court records show.