A manhunt was underway for a gunman suspected in three separate shootings Monday that left four dead in north-central West Virginia, including a woman who filed a domestic violence complaint against the man sought by police.
Two of the shootings happened in the Westover area and the other was in the Cheat Lake area in Monongalia County, said state police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous.
He identified the two victims from the Cheat Lake shooting as Sharon Kay Berkshire, 39, of Westover, and Michael David Frum, 28, of Maidsville. Baylous had no details on the Westover shootings, saying other law enforcement agencies were handling them. The Monongalia County sheriff’s office released no information by Monday evening.
Monongalia County 911 director Mike Wolfe said police are seeking Jody Lee Hunt, 39, of Westover. Police also are searching for a 2011 Ford F-150 extended cab truck.
“We ask that everyone stay vigilant and use their discretion about whether they should leave their homes,” Wolfe said.
According to Monongalia County Circuit Court records, Berkshire filed a domestic violence case against Hunt last month. Court records also indicated there were no protective orders currently in place for Berkshire.
Further details weren’t immediately available. A call to Hunt’s home went unanswered.
Arlene Barnett of Westover said she was drinking coffee at her home when she heard four gunshots shortly after 10 a.m. at a nearby trailer where one of the victims lived.
“I didn’t pay any attention to it because I thought, oh heck, it’s deer season,” Barnett said. “I thought they were deer hunting. I just went about my business and didn’t connect anything. Then I heard the sirens.”
Local schools were placed on lockdown, but West Virginia University in nearby Morgantown said there was no immediate threat to the campus. Classes resumed Monday following the Thanksgiving break.
State documents indicate Hunt owned J&J Towing and Repair LLC of Westover. A call to the business went unanswered Monday afternoon.
Frank Brown lives in a house behind the towing company’s lot. He said normally the lot is busy in the early morning but there was no such activity Monday.
The towing company’s front door was padlocked, although the lights inside and an elaborate security system with TV monitors were turned on.
Brown said he lives down the street from another towing business where one of the Westover shootings occurred. At that business, a sign on the door said it was closed until further notice due to a family emergency.