BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One man is in jail, facing two counts of murder, after investigators say he shot and killed two men he believed were on his property. But investigators say the shed did not belong to Rodney Bruce Black, 62, and neither did the property.
“The victims had a legal right to be where they were,” Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas said Saturday. “He thought [they were] breaking into his outbuilding.”
Black is accused of shooting and killing Garrick Hopkins, 60, and Carl Hopkins, Jr., 61, on Saturday. According to the criminal complaint, he told investigators he saw the two men shaking the door of his shed or outbuilding. He then told investigators he grabbed a .243 rifle, loaded it and shot twice from his bedroom window, hitting and killing the two men. Afterward, he called 911 to tell dispatchers he had killed them and would be waiting for deputies to arrive.
However, McComas said the property did not belong to Black. Instead, it was the property next door to Black’s house, which Garrick Hopkins had recently bought. McComas also told WSAZ.com that nothing inside the shed belonged to Black.
WSAZ.com got a copy of the search warrant investigators used to search Black’s house on Saturday. The results of that warrant include several pages of entries for ammunition and dozens of guns.
“We never saw it coming. I never saw it coming,” Drew Beane, a neighbor, said on Monday. "You try to get to know your neighbors, try to get a feel for them, want to protect your kids so you want to know who's in your neighborhood. And we knew somebody was here, [we] just didn't know it was him."
Beane, who has lived in the neighborhood for two years, said that he didn’t consider it a close-knit neighborhood, but that he knew most of the neighbors. Black, he said, was an exception.
“This is the guy that we just never saw, didn't know existed,” Beane said.
Beane told WSAZ.com telling his three children, ages 13, eight and five, was difficult.
“[We] told them that somebody made a bad decision, somebody made a bad choice, and there were two people who lost their lives,” Beane said. “We didn't lie to them. We just told them the truth as gently as we possibly could. That's all you can do.”
Black is lodged at the Western Regional Jail, facing two counts of first-degree murder. WSAZ.com called him today to get his side of the story, but Black told jail officials he did not want to speak to the media.
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