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UPDATE: Standoff Suspect Identified; Ex-Wife is Critical

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 12/5/12 @ 11:45 a.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia State Police have identified the people involved in a Randolph County shooting and police standoff that left one man dead and his ex-wife in critical condition.

Sgt. Michael Baylous says 52-year-old Jeffrey L. Zirkle was shot and killed by troopers after coming out of his home near Jimtown with a rifle Tuesday evening.

Troopers and relatives had tried to negotiate a peaceful surrender. But Baylous says the attempt failed and Zirkle posed an immediate threat.

Baylous says Zirkle shot his ex-wife, 49-year-old Elizabeth Smith, multiple times.

She drove about 5 miles to her mother's home in Coalton near an elementary school and called 911. The school was briefly locked down while the shooting was investigated.

Smith was in critical condition Wednesday at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.



UPDATE 12/4/12 @ 9:05 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia State Police say a standoff is over after troopers shot and killed a shooting suspect near Elkins.

Police arrived at the home Tuesday after a shooting victim was able to call 911. The victim was taken to the hospital, and a standoff ensued between police and the shooter, who remained inside the home.

Sgt. Michael Baylous says the suspect eventually came out of the house with a weapon. He says the suspect posed a threat, and he was shot and killed.

Further details, including the shooting victims' names, were not immediately released.

The nearby Coalton Elementary School was locked down as a precaution after the first shooting. School officials say children were never in danger. They were allowed to go home before the standoff ended.



UPDATE 12/4/12 @ 6 p.m.
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) -- Schoolchildren who were on lockdown after a shooting near the Coalton Elementary School are now home safe and sound.

Randolph County Superintendent of Schools James Phares says the children were released from the precautionary lockdown at the school about 12 miles from Elkins late Tuesday afternoon.

State Police say the children were never in danger.

Sgt. Michael Baylous says the school was secured after an unrelated shooting occurred at a home nearby.

Baylous says details about the shooting are unclear, but the victim was able to call 911 and has been taken to a hospital.

The shooter was believed to be inside the house, and police were in a standoff with him late in the day.

He says more details will be released later.



ORIGINAL STORY
ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia State Police say an elementary school in Randolph County is on lockdown after a nearby shooting, but the children are not in any danger.

Sgt. Michael Baylous says the shooting occurred Tuesday afternoon at a house across from the Coalton Elementary school, about 12 miles west of Elkins.

Baylous says details about the shooting are unclear, but the victim was able to call 911 and has been taken to a hospital.

The shooter is believed to be inside the house, and police are now in a standoff.

Baylous says children will be kept inside the school for now, where they are safe.

He says authorities will release more information when they can.


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