HEATH SPRINGS -- Darren Winchester's neighbors feared what he might do.
In recent weeks, they'd seen him drink heavily. Some said the 46-year-old would stagger through the neighborhood in a drunken stupor, once appearing as though he'd urinated on himself.
He was a man most locals knew of, neighbors said, but one few people knew or even cared to know.
"Basically, he was a crazy fool," said 19-year-old Billy Medlin shortly after signing his name on a memorial for Ronnie Cairnes Sr. at the closed Cedar Creek Bait & Tackle shop Thursday.
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That store was where 55-year-old Cairnes was shot and killed Wednesday morning. Winchester shot Cairnes with a high-powered rifle from across the street, according to police and family members.
Police tracked Winchester to the nearby home he'd recently been evicted from. He exchanged gunfire with officers, who spent nearly six hours trying to make contact with him.
They finally went into the house, finding Winchester on the second floor with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
Medlin, who lives nearly 2 miles from the store, said he'd heard stories about the clashes between Winchester and Cairnes, whom he often spoke to when buying a drink at the store.
Neighbor Bennie Cooper said he didn't know Winchester and only casually chatted hunting and fishing with Cairnes at the store.
But he, like others, knew Cairnes and Winchester didn't like each other.
"That's been going on for a pretty good while," he said.
In 2005, Cairnes called the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office about a drunk Winchester shooting into traffic, according to a police report. When a deputy visited Winchester, he found he'd been drinking and was slurring his speech. He told the deputy that he'd been shooting his shotgun at a target in his backyard away from the road.
The deputy told him to quit shooting while drunk, and Winchester agreed, the report stated. Later that day, Winchester approached neighbor Donald Pate with a handgun in his pants.
Pate told police that Winchester said he'd shoot him, and Pate felt threatened. Winchester was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace.
Pate told The Herald this week that he was moving because of Winchester's behavior. Cairnes' family said the clash between the store owner and Winchester worsened 18 months ago when Cairnes confronted a drunken Winchester about using foul language with customers.
Other neighbors also said they were also afraid of the man they described as a mouthy alcoholic.
Jack Massey, a 46-year-old cabinetmaker who lives near the store, said he didn't talk to Winchester much but regularly saw him staggering through the neighborhood.
He worried about Winchester driving drunk, and stayed away when he saw his faded burgundy pickup on the road. In the past month, Massey said Winchester's drinking seemed to get worse.
"He appeared to me like a loose cannon about to go off," he said.Massey said Cairnes was a friend, but an honest person who would call the police when he saw someone breaking the law.
"I liked that about him, myself," Massey said.
Cairnes once called authorities about Massey's teenage step-son spinning tires in the store's gravel parking lot, he said. When Cairnes told Massey he was making the call, "I told him that'd be the best thing to do," Massey said.
He said he visited the store several times each week, and Cairnes often asked him what he was building.
"It's a crying shame," he said of the shooting. "I can't believe it."
Winchester's family could not be reached for comment.