Crime & Courts

Hickory man charged with gun crime

A Hickory man was arrested Thursday after Newton police said he improperly sold a firearm to a convicted felon who later shot an 8-year-old in the hand before turning the gun on himself.

Joshua Ervin Watts, 24, was charged for selling a firearm without obtaining a permit, a violation of state gun laws, Newton police said Friday.

The charge against Watts stems from a May 23 shooting on North Ervin Avenue in Newton, police said.

Christopher Shawn Davis, 27, of Gastonia, got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend at her Ervin Avenue home and began firing a pistol, according to witness reports.

It was unclear whether Davis was aiming for the home or firing randomly, police said, but an 8-year-old boy who was standing at his bedroom window was shot in the hand.

Davis then shot himself, police said, and died several days later.

Officials said that Davis bought the firearm used on May 23 from Watts the day before.

Watts turned himself into police at the Catawba County Detention Center in Newton and was placed under a $500 unsecured bond.