Police say they're investigating 100 possible suspects in the shooting deaths of three Kanawha County residents last week. Kanawha County Sheriff Dave Tucker held a press conference Monday afternoon in front of the county courthouse. He says police are following up on leads, but have no one in custody at this time. They're also looking for a dark color or maroon full-size pickup, possibly a Ford F-150.
Tucker backtracked from previous descriptions of the driver as a large white male, saying darkness may have obscured eyewitness views. Tucker says about 25 local, state and federal officers are working on the case as part of a task force. Last Thursday night, 31-year-old Jeanie Patton of Campbells Creek was shot at a Speedway convenience store about five miles from her home. About 90 minutes later 26-year-old Okey Meadows
Junior of Campbells Creek was shot at a Cedar Grove Go-Mart about ten miles from Patton.
Witnesses had said a black extended cab pickup truck was seen near both shootings. Forty-four-year-old Gary Carrier Junior of South Charleston was shot outside a Go-Mart in Charleston late on August Tenth. While bullets that killed the three people were fired from the same caliber and class of weapon, police have stopped short of definitively linking the crimes. Because Charleston is within 90 minutes' drive from our area, these recent attacks hit home more than last year's shootings in Maryland.
“You can take note of the fact that it's happened in similar places, but you shouldn't at all be surprised if one or two happen at a completely different location, or type of business,” says Bob Newell.
An official of Par-Mar Oil, which operates gas stations throughout our area, says its employees have been advised to take safety precautions when necessary. That includes notifying police of any suspicious activity, but people we spoke to at some of those stations already appear to be aware. If it has happened in Charleston, could it happen here? These customers seem to be in agreement, that it could happen anywhere.