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Former Olympian, track star Emmit King fatally shot during argument in Alabama

Witnesses said King and another man were fighting when they each grabbed a gun and fired at each other.
King Lewis
Carl Lewis raises his arms in victory as he wins the 100-meter final ahead of third-place Emmit King, left, at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, on June 18, 1984.LENNOX MCLENDON / AP

An argument between former Olympian and track and field champion Emmit King and another man erupted in gunfire over the weekend, leaving both men dead, authorities in Alabama said Monday.

King, 62, was pronounced dead at a hospital Sunday afternoon, Waid William Yates, chief deputy coroner of Jefferson County.

The other man, Willie Wells, 60, died at the scene, Yates said.

A police spokesman in Bessemer, where the shooting occurred, said officers responded to reports of gunfire at 3:40 p.m. and found King and Wells, both of whom had been shot.

Witnesses said the pair were arguing when each grabbed a gun and fired at the other. 

It wasn’t clear what the argument was about, and additional details about the shooting weren’t immediately available.

King, who attended the University of Alabama, was the 1983 NCAA national champion in the 100-meter sprint. The same year, he earned a bronze medal at the World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, Finland.

King was twice on the U.S. Olympic relay team — in 1984 in Los Angeles and 1988 in Seoul, South Korea — but didn’t compete.

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