HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The fatal shootings of two men outside a home in Barboursville last month is not believed to be race related, according to a written statement from the Cabell County Prosecutor's Office and the Public Defender’s Office.
Rodney Bruce Black, 62, of Barboursville, is charged with two counts of 1st degree murder.
Investigators say Black shot and killed Garrick Hopkins, 60, of Milton, and his brother, Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, of Oak Hill, W.Va. last month.
The shooting happened outside Black’s home at 12 Lane Drive.
Black’s preliminary hearing was set for Tuesday morning in Cabell County Magistrate Court. Shortly before the hearing, Black’s attorney agreed to waive the case to the grand jury. Mr. Black briefly appeared in court surrounded by a number of Sheriff’s Deputies.
Following the hearing, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office released the following joint statement:
“First, we would like to express our condolences to the family of Garrick and Carl Hopkins on the tragic loss of their loved ones. Earlier today counsel for Mr. Black waived his felony preliminary hearing on two murder charges, in exchange for an open file agreement on the ongoing investigation in this case. A thorough investigation of this case has been done by both sides and there is no indication thus far of race being a factor in the deaths of Garrick and Carl Hopkins.”
According to the criminal complaint, Black told detectives in his statement that he saw two men “shaking the door on his tool shed in his backyard.” He said he then “reached and got his .243 and loaded the gun and pointed the gun out of his window and the shot the first male and then pulled the bolt action back and fired another shot and hit the other male.”
Black also told deputies in his statement that the “did not warn them nor did he call 911 when saw them.”
He also advised that “no first aid was given after the incident.”
Sheriff McComas said that Garrick Hopkins recently purchased the lot adjacent to #12 Lane Drive and that Garrick took his brother to the property to show him where he and his family were planning to build their new home in the coming weeks.
The Sheriff says the outbuilding in question was on Hopkins' property and contained no belongings of Mr. Black.
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