On March 31, 2018, Fields and Ward were working together at a location behind the Dominion Virginia Power Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in the Town of St. Paul, Virginia. The entire incident was captured on security camera footage at the location of the shooting. Evidence showed that the parties had been horse-playing with one another that afternoon while at work. At some point that day, Fields pulled a loaded .22 revolver firearm from his truck, removed it from the holster, pointed the gun, and pulled the trigger. Fields claimed the shooting was an accident, but admitted that he waived around the firearm and pulled the trigger in an effort to scare the victim. Ward was shot in the forehead just above his right eye. He died at Bristol Regional Medical Center as a result of his injuries.
The case was investigated by the Wise County Sheriff's Department with assistance from the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, and the Town of St. Paul Police Department.
Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said, "This is a tragic case and a senseless act of violence. Mr. Fields's behavior demonstrates an extreme disregard for human life. We are proud to bring a resolution to the case today and we hope that these convictions provide closure and justice for the victim's family." Slemp also offered his appreciation to those who made the convictions possible. "I want to specifically thank our attorneys Josh Newberry and Brett Hall and our entire office team for their hard work in prosecuting this case and the dedication of countless law enforcement officers whose professional investigation made these convictions possible. I also specifically want to thank Investigator Duane Phillips from the Wise County Sheriff's Department for leading the investigation."
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for June 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the Wise County Circuit Court. Fields faces a punishment of incarceration in the Virginia Department of Corrections for a term ranging between 5 years and 65 years. A judge will hand down the final sentence after hearing evidence at the sentencing hearing in June.