Authorities say a man who killed five people near Morgantown and ran down an elderly woman in neighboring Pennsylvania also shot and wounded a gas station attendant as he crossed back through West Virginia. He then took his own life in Kentucky. Hit the jump to read the rest of the story.
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The path of violence that Shayne Riggleman cut through three states before committing suicide during a police chase was “one of the most heinous crimes I’ve ever witnessed,” State Police Capt. James Merrill said Tuesday.
At a news conference, Merrill would not comment on a motive or say how Riggleman, 22, was connected to any of the five shooting victims at the blood-spattered house a few miles west of Morgantown, where the spree began Monday afternoon.
Charles Richardson Jr., whose son was among the five shooting victims, told The Associated Press he didn’t recognize Riggleman’s name or know his connection to the family. Nor was he aware of his son having trouble with anyone.
Richardson said his son worked for FedEx and liked to tinker on vehicles and computers. The two were not close, he said, even though the elder Richardson lives in a mobile home within sight of his son’s house.
“He went about his business and I went about mine,” he said, “but I loved my son.”
Police identified the dead as: 49-year-old Charles Richardson III; his wife, 50-year-old Karin Richardson; her children, 17-year-old Kevin Hudson and 22-year-old Katrina Hudson; and 30-year-old Robert Raber.
Katrina Hudson was six months pregnant.
Raber lived in the house, but Merrill would not otherwise elaborate on his relationship to the other victims.
Merrill said investigators believe all five victims in the ramshackle house were shot with a high-powered rifle. Autopsies were under way Tuesday.
Troopers had been asked to check on the family around 5:30 p.m. Monday and arrived about an hour later. They found two bodies in the kitchen and one in the living room once they reached the home at the end of a deeply rutted dirt drive.
Merrill said troopers secured the site, determined the shooter was no longer inside and found two more bodies in a bathroom after searching further.
Merrill said the call about the family’s welfare came from a friend who grew concerned after Riggleman traveled to see her in Pennsylvania.
Authorities said Riggleman apparently shot the victims around 3:30 or 4:30 p.m. Monday then drove about 20 miles to Fairchance, Pa., and met with that friend. Authorities would not identify the woman but credited her with preventing more deaths.
“It’s unfortunate it ended the way it did,” Merrill said, “… but I do not believe that he would’ve stopped.”