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One arrested, charged with murder in Wednesday night shooting

Members of the Selma Police Department Evidence Unit work the scene of a shooting in the 1400 block of Church Street early Thursday morning. Wesley Bell died of multiple gunshot wounds at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Police have arrested a suspect.--Leesha Faulkner photo

SELMA — Last week, Wesley Bell joined with friends and relatives to search for a missing teenager in the Selmont area.

Wednesday night, Bell lay in front of a house in the 1400 block of Church Street, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and arms, only a block from where Selma City Council member Sam Randolph had sponsored a barbecue to draw attention to needless violence in the community.

Bell died a couple of hours later in the emergency room at Vaughan Regional Medical Center as relatives gathered outside.

The shooting occurred shortly before midnight Wednesday. Selma police circled the area and stopped a suspect in the parking lot of Calhoun Foods, not far from the scene of the shooting, said Selma Police Chief William Riley III.

Officers arrested Gregory Watts, 34, of Selma. Watts is charged with murder. He is in the Dallas County Jail with no bond.

Authorities said Bell and Watts had an argument, which resulted in the shooting.

“We still have no idea what it was about,” Riley said.

The argument occurred at one location. Bell walked away.

Riley said as Bell walked down Church Street, a car pulled up, and someone inside the car fired a weapon at Bell.

Selma City Council member Angela Benjamin is a distant cousin to Bell. She went to the hospital to console relatives.

“Street news said it was a person shooting randomly at some other people, but got Wesley Bell instead,” she said as the reason for the shooting.

Riley said he knew Bell, who had worked off some traffic fines at the police department.

“He didn’t cause any problems,” the police chief said. “He would help out with anything we asked.”