Man shoots friend for bringing him Busch

No one pictured here drinks Busch

No one pictured here drinks Busch

An argument between years-long friends over which beer is better -- Budweiser or Busch -- ended Saturday in Harvey with a shotgun blast, authorities said.

Clarence Sturdivant, 64, shot his 66-year-old neighbor, Walter Merrick, said Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

Merrick was treated for a wound on his elbow and small pellet puncture wounds to his arm and chest. His injuries were not considered life threatening, Fortunato said.

The beer showdown occurred Saturday afternoon (March 7) at a complex of single-story apartment buildings in the 1500 block of Esther Street in Harvey. Merrick told investigators that he and Sturdivant were chatting in the parking lot when Sturdivant asked for a beer, a Sheriff's Office incident report said.

Merrick returned with a can of Busch beer -- apparently not Sturdivant's brew of choice. An angry Sturdivant declared his preference for Budweiser, according to the report.

The two men continued to quarrel over beer brands until Merrick said Sturdivant shot him and left, the incident report said. Deputies pulled Sturdivant over a short time later in the 1500 block of Estalot Street in Harvey, and found 20-gauge shotgun cartridges in his truck, the report said. They also found a spent 20-gauge shotgun cartridge at the scene of the shooting.

Sturdivant told a different story of the incident, according to Fortunato. Sturdivant confirmed the two men had argued over beer, but said it was Merrick who first pointed a gun at him, Fortunato said. Sturdivant said he fired in self-defense.

Although deputies did not find a weapon on Merrick, they issued him a citation for aggravated assault, Fortunato said.

Sturdivant was arrested on unrelated charges that included two attachments from Jefferson Parish's 24th Judicial District Court. Sturdivant failed to appear in court after receiving citations for resisting an officer and interfering with police in December 2013. He was released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on a $1,000 bond.

-via The Times Picayune