Suspect charged after motorcyclist shot in Franklin County

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(video)--WASHINGTON, Mo. ( -

A suspect is charged after a motorcyclist was shot on Highway 100 in Franklin County Friday morning.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said around 2:45 a.m. on May 20 the rider was shot following a verbal altercation at a gas station in Villa Ridge. Authorities acquired surveillance video from the gas station to identify the suspect.  Authorities believe William White, 31, is the shooter. He is charged with first-degree assault. He is being held at the Franklin County Jail on a $100,000 cash only bond.

The victim, a 62 year-old James Diekmann, from Berger, Mo., told the deputies he was riding his motorcycle on the highway when a truck drove beside him. White allegedly fired at the victim and struck him in the arm.

Diekmann was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury. 

According to a press release, Diekmann, who belongs to a motorcycle club, was wearing his colors at the time of the shooting.  White said he had been drinking and had an issue with members of the Deikmann's motorcycle club, which resulted in the gas station confrontation.

After being taken into custody, a handgun was found and White admitted to the shooting, according to the sheriff’s office.

White has a criminal history, officials said. He was previously accused of receiving stolen property, alcohol and drug-related arrests. In 2013 he was sentenced to five years for driving with a revoked license and given probation. In 2014 he was sentenced to seven years for drug charges and placed on probation again.

Following the shooting, Diekmann told deputies he did not know the person who shot him, nor could he think of a motive for someone shooting him. Deputies said the man told them he had no enemies he knew of. 

The investigation is ongoing.

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Timothy Godfrey
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