UPDATE: Murder suspect doesn't contest extradition to West Virginia

Published: Jun. 13, 2016 at 10:08 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
UPDATE 6/17/16

GREAT CACAPON, W.Va. (AP) - Authorities say a man arrested in Pennsylvania will be returned to West Virginia to face charges in the fatal shootings of three men.

Thirty-two-year-old Erick Shute was arrested Tuesday in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

According to Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan's office, Shute did not contest his extradition at a hearing Friday, and West Virginia authorities are expected to transport him back.

Shute is accused in Monday's shootings near Cacapon Resort State Park of Jack Douglas of Great Cacapon and Hedgesville residents Travis Bartley and Willie Bartley.

In Pennsville Township, New Jersey, where Shute used to live, Police Chief Allen Cummings said Shute was involved in the anti-government sovereign-citizen movement. Sovereign citizens are people who reject their U.S. citizenship and don't recognize laws, taxes and other types of government authority.

UPDATE 6/14/16 @ 3:11 p.m.

GREAT CACAPON, W.Va. (AP) -- The names of three men who were murdered in Morgan County, West Virginia have been released.

Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh says the deceased are Jack Douglas, of Great Cacapon, and Travis Bartley and Willie Bartley, both of Hedgesville.

Shambaugh said the deaths were caused by gunshots from a .223 caliber rifle.

Shambaugh said the men were shot and killed in what was apparently a property dispute near Great Cacapon in Morgan County, West Virginia.

He said 32-year-old Erick Shute was in custody in Chester County, Pennsylvania, early Tuesday morning after an eight-hour manhunt in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

UPDATE 6/14/16 @ 9:05 a.m.

GREAT CACAPON, W.Va. (WSAZ/WV MetroNews) -- Three men are dead and another behind bars after a shooting reportedly over firewood.

The shooting happened at Valley High Timber Farm in Great Cacapon in Morgan County, West Virginia about 4:45 p.m. Monday.

Deputies responded after reports of an active shooter on the scene. When they got there, they say the shooter had fled, but three men were found dead from gunshot wounds.

Erick Shute, 32, of Great Cacapon, was arrested in Pennsylvania for the shootings.

Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh identified Shute to MetroNews as a “sovereign citizen” and said he had filed a number of complaints against the victims including property disputes.

Investigators say the three men were shot while clearing wood and debris from a roadway adjacent to Shute's property. They say he brought the property as a place for a weekend home and was believed to be building a compound.

Sheriff Shambaugh says Shute ambushed the men with a rifle from a wooded area nearby. One victim was able to get away, uninjured.

NJ Advance Media reported Shute made a post on Facebook following the shooting in which he claimed self defense. He said the men stole from him and threatened him.

It took investigators eight hours to track Shute down in Pennsylvania and take him into custody.

Shute, formerly of New Jersey, is reportedly known to New Jersey authorities. Investigators say he was in the middle of a controversy in 2009, where they say he hung a flag upside down as a "signal of distress" for America. They say he claimed the government was corrupt. And in 2011, he was indicted by a grand jury in New Jersey on charged of attacking a police officer and resisting arrest.

UPDATE 6/14/16 @ 6:35 a.m.

GREAT CACAPON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The suspect in a triple murder in Morgan County has been arrested.

Morgan County 911 dispatchers say Erick Shute, 32, was taken into custody early Tuesday morning.

Shute is accused of shooting and killing three people in Valley Hill Timber Farms along Gamble Lane.

The names of the victims are not being released until the families are notified.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information on this story.

ORIGINAL STORY 6/13/16 @ 10:15 p.m.

GREAT CACAPON, W.Va. (WHAG) -- WHAG in Hagerstown, Maryland, an NBC affiliate, is reporting that deputies with the Morgan County Sheriff's Department say they are actively looking for a suspect after a confirmed shooting.

Police say there is a confirmed fatality, however the number of victims has not been confirmed.

A helicopter is assisting in the search.

Police are advising residents to stay indoors.

Gamble Lane is currently closed off in that area.

WSAZ has reached out to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department for more information and is waiting on a response.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.