Matthew Ryan Peoples
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Bonifay man charged in Labor Day murder

A Bonifay man has been charged in the death of another man on Labor Day.


Matthew Ryan Peoples, 33, is facing an open count of murder after he shot a neighbor in the chest.


According to the Bonifay Police Department report, several 911 calls came into dispatch regarding an altercation at a residence in Bonifay. As officers arrived on scene, Peoples was waving his hands in the air in an attempt to get the officer’s attention. Upon assessing the scene, officers found a man lying on the ground with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest, upon checking for a pulse, none was found. Crime scene tape was immediately placed to secure the area.


Peoples official statement says he became involved when his sister called their mother because she and the victim were arguing. Peoples and his mother went to his sister’s residence to take them to the mothers house and away from the arguing. Peoples stated he went back to his mothers house where he retrieved the gun and loaded it. He further stated he stood in the doorway of the home in case the victim tried to enter.  


According to the statement, Peoples said he “guessed his sister had went back next door” and that he was scared for her so he put the gun in his waistband, put on a shirt and walked outside by his truck. Peoples sister and the victim were arguing, when he told her to come back over to where he was. Peoples stated he told the victim, “I have my gun, don’t come near our yard or in our yard.” 

At this time, according to Peoples statement, the victim came rushing toward him with balled fists in what he took as aggression. Peoples stated the victim ran up to him and Peoples shot him in the chest.

Peoples then said he went in the house, unloaded the gun, put it in a room, walked back outside, got on his knees with his hands behind his head and waited for the police to arrive.


The name of the victim has not yet been officially released by the State Attorney’s Office but the Holmes County Advertiser will continue to follow this case and will update as information becomes available.


Peoples is set for arraignment on October 4.

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