friend and himself
Express Staff Writer
man apparently shot a friend, then turned his rifle on himself early
last Wednesday morning following an evening of drink and argument.
Wells, 38, was found dead July 3 inside the house he owned at 2950
Woodside Blvd. after shots were reported about 12:30 a.m. The body of
Anthony Purcell, 21, was found outside the front door of the house.
to a press release from the Hailey Police Department, the men had spent
the day at Magic Reservoir with two 17-year-old girls, both Hailey
residents. Police do not yet know all the details leading up to the
shooting but have pieced together most of what happened from statements
obtained from the girls.
reported that on the trip back from Magic, with drinking going on in the
car, Wells became angry. One of the girls got out of the car at Guffy’s
remaining occupants drove to Wells’ house. Upon arrival, Wells was
still very angry and a physical altercation occurred between him and the
second girl. Purcell and the girl left the house and went to Purcell’s
residence at Baldy View apartments, also in Woodside.
went back to Wells’ house, then returned home with him. He told the
girl there that Wells had put a gun to his head and threatened him. Upon
entering Purcell’s residence, Wells kicked open the door. He
apparently took a handgun from the apartment and left.
returned and confronted the girl, putting a gun to her head and
threatening to kill her and Purcell. He left and returned home.
eventually discovered that his gun was missing and went to retrieve it
from Wells. A short time later, the Hailey Police Department received a
report that two shots had been fired at Wells’ residence, four to five
appears that Purcell was shot in the back as he left Wells’ front
door. The gun reportedly stolen by Wells was found, unloaded, near
rifle was found near Wells’ body inside the house. The bullet believed
to have killed Purcell was found lodged in the side of a house across
the street. Its trajectory indicated that it had been fired from a
window adjacent to Well’s front door.
the door frame at Purcell’s apartment lent confirmation to the girls’
continue to process evidence and interview people who may have been
witnesses to the events leading up to the shootings.
pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor charge of discharging a
firearm within the city limits.
former wife had filed divorce proceedings against him in March. He was
charged in May with two counts of violating a no-contact order obtained
by her, regarding telephone threats and a shoving incident at The Mint
Bar in Hailey. He was also charged with domestic battery in regard to
the incident at The Mint. According to the Blaine County Prosecuting
Attorney’s Office, he was scheduled to plead guilty to those charges
also recently been charged with domestic battery in Gooding County
against another woman. However, according to the Gooding County
Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the victim recanted her story and the
charge was dropped.
convicted in June of a related misdemeanor possession of marijuana
obituary for Wells appears on Page A21 of the July 10, 2002 printed
edtion of the Idaho Mountain Express.