Three random shooting deaths outside convenience stores prompt

Saturday, August 16, 2003

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Three people were shot to death outside convenience stores in less than a week, and authorities said Friday that a single shooter could be responsible.

A man and a woman were fatally shot late Thursday at different stores near Charleston. Another man was killed outside a third store on the city's west side on Sunday.

Kanawha County chief deputy Phil Morris voiced concern Friday about the resemblance between the deaths and last year's sniper shootings in the Washington, D.C., area.

"We don't have anyone standing there with a smoking gun, we have no apparent domestic violence situations and we don't have any reason to believe these were drug-related," Morris said. "As sad as that is, we are concerned about a single killer."

Residents were advised Friday not to travel alone to convenience stores and to keep their eyes open, Morris said.

A woman was shot at about 10:20 p.m. Thursday while pumping gas at a SuperAmerica store in Campbells Creek, less than 10 miles east of Charleston.

A man was killed about an hour later and 10 miles away outside a Go-Mart in Cedar Grove. Names of the victims were not immediately released.

Video scrutinized

Police have not identified the weapon or weapons used but did say the shootings occurred from a stationary position. Authorities were scrutinizing video from surveillance cameras at both stores. Morris declined to say if the shooter or the vehicle can be seen.

On Sunday, Gary Carrier Jr., 34, of South Charleston, was shot in the head and killed while using a pay telephone outside a Charleston Go-Mart.

In addition to those shootings, Morris said authorities are not ruling out a possible connection to a fatal shooting at a supermarket in Charleston's Kanawha City neighborhood in March.

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