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A man shot a pal after an argument about whether Halle Berry should play Aretha Franklin in a movie about the late singers life, police say.

Michael Hatton, 44, is said to have blasted Tony Lundy, 47, after a row erupted in a barbershop in Suffolk, Va., leaving him in a critical condition.

Hatton reportedly fired at least one bullet into Lundy at 10:45am Thursday, just 55 minutes after it was announced Franklin had died of pancreatic cancer aged 76.

Michael Hatton, who reportedly shot Tony Lundy in a barbershop following a heated row over whether Halle Berry should play Aretha Franklin in a film version of the late singers life (Picture: Suffolk PD)
The argument became violent inside this barbershop in Suffolk just 55 minutes after Franklins death was announced, with Hatton allegedly shooting Lundy on the sidewalk shortly after (Picture: Robert Boyd/Twitter)

Eyewitness Harvey Clark told WVEC: They were talking about Halle Berry playing the part of Aretha Franklin in a movie.

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Thats when I asked the question, “How is Aretha doing?”, And they said she died five minutes ago.

Clark said the men ended up grappling with one another on the floor, with Lundy repeatedly punching Hatton on the head, prompting him to reply Ill give you a pass on this one.

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But Lundy wanted to continue the scuffle, Clark said, adding: (Lundy) looked like he was coming back, so (Hatton) reached for his gun and (Lundy) ran.

The way his arm was elevated I was assuming he was shooting over his head, but when I walked out there I saw (Lundy) bleeding, and then I saw him fall down on the ground and I said, “Oh man, hes dead.”

Berry was reportedly named Franklins choice for the role in 2011, although Jennifer Hudson has since been mooted to play the late Queen of Soul (Picture: Getty)
Seated portrait of R&B singer Aretha Franklin during her youth. In this photo her left hand is featured prominently with a diamond bracelet on her wrist and engagement ring on her finger.
Aretha died of pancreatic cancer Thursday. Her death sparked an outpouring of grief across the globe (Picture: Bettman Archive)

He claims that even after Lundy was shot, Hatton walked up and pressed the gun to his head, only to walk away when begged to do so by bystanders.

Lundy is said to still be undergoing treatment, while Hatton was later released from hospital after treatment for the injuries he sustained in the fracas.

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It is unclear which of the two men wanted Oscar-winner Berry to play Franklin in any such film.

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Hatton was charged with aggravated malicious wounding, felony use of a firearm and discharge of a firearm in public.

Franklin herself named reportedly named Berry as her first choice for the role in 2011.

Singer Jennifer Hudson has since emerged as favorite to play the Franklin, who was famously known as the Queen of Soul.

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