Somerset County man Travis Scott charged with homicide in death of brother by crossbow

Somerset County man Travis Scott charged with homicide in death of brother by crossbow

A Somerset Township man is behind bars after state troopers say he fatally shot his brother with a crossbow.

Police have charged Travis Scott Shearer, 32, with criminal homicide in connection with the death of his brother, Eric Miller, on Friday night. Shearer is currently being held in the Somerset County Jail.

State troopers based in Somerset reported in an affidavit that just before 8 p.m. Friday, they received a call from Shearer, who was described as “hysterical and crying.” Shearer informed the troopers that Miller was attacking him outside his house and refusing to leave, leading Shearer to shoot him with a crossbow.

However, based on Ring doorbell footage from the scene, troopers charged Shearer because it appeared that Miller was not actively pursuing Shearer during the confrontation, according to the complaint. The footage showed that Shearer was able to walk away from Miller and into his home for safety.

Shearer told troopers that he and Miller had just returned from a bar, and an argument erupted when Miller wanted to go to another bar, but Shearer did not, according to the complaint.

The brothers argued outside Shearer’s house in the 500 block of Cider Mill Road, with Shearer claiming that Miller “went nuts.” Shearer mentioned that his Ring doorbell camera captured the entire incident. While on the phone with troopers, Shearer repeatedly said, “I’m sorry.”

When troopers arrived at the scene, Shearer was found lying on top of Miller, sobbing. Miller was deceased, lying on his back with blood around him at the base of the porch.

During questioning, Shearer recounted that Miller had asked him for a ride to Walmart earlier in the day. After leaving Walmart, they had “several drinks” at a bar, and on the way home, Miller wanted to stop at another bar.

Shearer told troopers that he didn’t want to stop but agreed to drop Miller off at the bar. As they neared the bar, Miller became irate, and Shearer decided to drive home instead.

According to Shearer, Miller hit him in the face twice while he was driving. When they arrived at Shearer’s driveway, Miller began choking him, and the two rolled around on the ground. Miller then chased Shearer, who ran into his house.

Inside the house, Shearer retrieved a crossbow from his bedroom and went back outside, telling Miller to leave because he had the crossbow. Shearer claimed that Miller was standing in the driveway and then charged at him. When Miller reached the top steps of the front porch, Shearer shot him in the chest with the crossbow and called 911.

The Ring doorbell footage showed Shearer and Miller shouting at each other, with Shearer walking toward the house and away from Miller. The video then captured Shearer standing on the porch and Miller on the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps with his hands on his hips. The next footage, recorded about five minutes later, showed Shearer walking to retrieve his phone from his car after Miller had been shot.

A preliminary hearing for Shearer is scheduled for June 25.

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