What began as a quarrel between a couple ended in the fatal shooting of a Cumberland man in the Letcher County community of Gordon on November 21.
State police say 37-year-old Wayne Duff II had argued with his girlfriend earlier in the day and was shot and killed by the girlfriend’s stepfather that same night.
Duff was living part-time with Wendy Cornett in a trailer at Gordon. Duff left Cornett’s home last Wednesday after the couple had argued, said Kentucky State Police Detective Randy Combs. Duff came back late that night and couldn’t get into the home because the door was locked, Combs said.
Combs said that after Duff returned to the home “banging on the door trying to get in,” Cornett’s mother, who lives about 50 yards from her daughter’s trailer, called 9-1-1. Cornett also called 9-1-1. About the same time, Cornett’s stepfather, James Brown, walked outside his house to ask Duff what he was doing.
“ They exchange words and Wayne threatens him,” said Combs.
Duff then got into his 1998 Isuzu Rodeo as if he was going to leave, but instead got back out of the sports utility vehicle and walked toward Brown, Combs said.
“(Duff ) comes toward (Brown) threatening him,” said Combs.
Brown shot Duff once in the chest with a handgun and Duff died at the scene, Combs said. He was pronounced dead by Letcher County Coroner Marty Baker at 11:55 p.m.
Cornett’s mother stayed on the telephone with a 9-1-1 dispatcher throughout the entire ordeal.
No charges have been filed, and the information gathered by Combs during his investigation will be presented to the Letcher County Grand Jury.
Funeral services for Duff were held in Harlan on Tuesday at Anderson Laws & Jones Funeral Home in. Graveside services were scheduled for Wednesday at the Maggard Cemetery in Partridge.
Duff was a truck driver and believed in the Baptist faith. He enjoyed riding motorcycles and spending time with his children.
Duff was preceded in death by his grandfather, James Duff; grandmother, Una Mae Ingram; stepfather Darwin McKnight; and cousins, Robert McKnight and James “Jimbo” McKnight.
He is survived by his father, Wayne Duff I of Tazewell, Tenn.; mother Elizabeth McKnight of Berea; grandmother Lavon Duff of Ages; children Merisa Aslinger of Harlan, Wayne Duff III of Cumberland, Christian Duff, Melissa Duff and Jacob Duff, all of Madison County, and Angel Duff and Cody Cornett both of Gordon. Also surviving are a sister, Dee Dee Ulbrich of Baxter; granddaughter Emma Aslinger of Harlan; and special nephew Maverick Ulbrich of Baxter.