Candidate holds home invasion suspect at gunpoint

Mark Ross says he grabbed his gun when he was told a suspect was seen going onto his daughter's property.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 3:58 PM EDT
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UPDATE 10/3/22 @ 9:45 p.m.

WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A retired high school teacher who’s running for office is being praised in his neighborhood for catching a suspect accused of trying to get into homes.

“Emotions were sky high crazy here, just fear,” Katelyn Kelly said. “In that moment, you don’t know what his intentions are, what he’s wanting to do.”

Kelly lives on Rice Avenue in Prichard. She says before 9 a.m., she heard someone opening her car door. She looked out her window and saw a man walking onto her porch.

“He looked a little out of his mind,” Kelly said.

Kelly says she put her daughter in her room, and then the man tried to get in through the front door.

“The dog was right there and jumped at him,” Kelly said.

She says then the man went across the yard toward her neighbor’s house, and he opened the door of an outbuilding. She called 911 and her neighbor.

Retired teacher and unopposed District 28 House of Delegates candidate Mark Ross lives nearby and got a call the suspect had been seen heading toward his daughter’s house.

Ross says at the time, his wife was babysitting their grandkids there while his daughter was at a doctor appointment.

“That made it even more special to me,” he said. “They’re not going to bother my grandbabies for sure.”

Ross grabbed his pistol and went to his daughter’s house and looked around. He says he spotted the suspect trying to get in through the basement.

“That’s when I told him to get on the ground,” Ross said. “He started to run.”

He says he got the suspect to get on the ground outside the house.

“I kept telling him to stay down and not to move,” he said.

Ross says he held the suspect, 29-year-old Roy Ward, at gunpoint about half an hour until West Virginia State Police arrived and arrested him.

“I, for one, am not going to stand around and let thugs and drugs take over our community,” he said.

“The man definitely would have gotten away if Mark hadn’t been here and done what he did for us,” Kelly said. “We thank him very much, and luckily that man is not out running doing the same things to other people.”

“We’re a pretty good piece away from the dispatch and sheriff and stuff, and we need to take our communities back,” Ross said.

Ward is charged with attempt to commit a felony. State police say he also had warrants for driving on a revoked license. He was taken to the Western Regional Jail.

Ross, a Republican, has served in the West Virginia House of Delegates once before. He was appointed by the governor in 2000.

Of the incident, Ross said, “”It’s not about politics. It’s never been about politics. It’s about doing what’s right.”

He says after retirement, he continues to work as a substitute teacher in Wayne County.


WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A man was arrested Monday in an attempted break-in that happened earlier that day in Prichard, West Virginia State Police said.

Troopers say the incident took place on Rice Avenue.

Roy Ward, 29, is charged with attempt to commit a felony. Troopers say he also had warrants in the county for driving on a revoked license.

Investigators say Ward was beating on a woman’s door. She went into a room and hid and called 911. When the woman didn’t answer the door, the suspect went to a neighbor’s home where he tried to get into an outbuilding and then a basement, troopers say.

Although that woman wasn’t home at the time, she managed to find out the man was at her home. Troopers say she called a neighbor, who went to the scene and held the suspect at gunpoint until troopers arrived.

Man holds break-in suspect at gunpoint in Prichard, W.Va.
Man holds break-in suspect at gunpoint in Prichard, W.Va.(WSAZ with permission)

Ward is in custody in the Western Regional Jail.