Evidence sent to state crime lab

By Katie Kuba

Senior Staff Writer

Local law enforcement officers are awaiting results from the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab in Charleston in hopes that those findings will help them crack the case of the Rich Oil gas station shooter, who has eluded authorities since April 5.

Randolph County Sheriff Mark Brady said Thursday that the sheriff’s office is still vigorously investigating the brutal shooting, which took place on a Friday night at the Rich Oil gas station along the Beverly Five-lane.

“The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the Rich Oil shooting,” Brady said. “The sheriff’s office continues to follow leads provided to them by the community, and we continue to urge the community to contact us with any information or leads.”

Brady did not say whether the sheriff’s office had identified a suspect in the case.

“Deputies have continued to interview persons who have provided leads from the community and persons connected to leads we have developed ourselves also,” Brady added.

“We have gathered evidence and submitted that evidence to the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab in Charleston and are awaiting results of the evidence that was submitted.”

According to previous reports, a white male clad in dark-colored pants, a dark-colored jacket and a hooded sweatshirt entered the gas station just after 11 p.m. and fired several shots at clerk Shawn Townsend. The shooter has been described as being between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-9 inches tall and weighing approximately 135 to 150 pounds.

The shooter then ran away, heading in the direction of Glenmore Loop Road.

A bullet from the shooter’s gun grazed the top of Townsend’s head, Brady said. Townsend suffered severe injuries to his face and eyes including partial loss of vision that were likely caused by either shards of broken glass or bullet fragments. Townsend was released from Davis Memorial Hospital last week and is recovering, Brady said.

Most recently, local law enforcement executed a search warrant along Moyer Hollow Road near the Glenmore area April 9 in connection with the shooting. Brady said officers were attempting to gather evidence that might help them track down the shooter.

Anyone with any information is asked to call RCSO via the nonemergency number for the Randolph County E-911 Center at 304-637-3561 or the anonymous tip line at 304-636-TIPS (304-636-8477).

Contact Katie Kuba by email at kkuba@theintermountain.com.