West Virginia Man Fatally Shoots Black Neighbors For Trespassing On Property He Thought He Owned
A West Virginia man fatally shot and killed his two black neighbors with a rifle as they surveyed a piece of land he mistakenly thought he owned.
Rodney Bruce Black, 60, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder after he shot and killed Garrick Hopkins, 60, and his brother Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, Saturday afternoon.
The pair were inspecting a building on a piece of property Garrick and his wife had just bought. The couple planned to begin building a new home in a few weeks.
"He shot first and then called 911," Sheriff Tom McComas told the New York Daily News. "He said they were breaking into his house but it wasn't his property.”
The building had once belonged to Black's family, but doesn't any longer.
McComas said the structure didn’t contain anything of value.
Authorities found dozens of guns in Black’s home, according to the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department. They are currently investigating if they are all legally purchased.
“He used one gun,” McComas said. “Yes, he owned numerous guns, but he only used one gun.”
The sheriff said there is no indication that race played a factor in the shooting.
"It's just a terrible, terrible tragedy," he said. "We're still trying to figure all of this out. … Hopefully we'll find out his reasoning as the investigation continues."
Black is being held without bail at Cabell County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 4.