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Warrant issued for shooter

June 02, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Police are looking for a District Heights, Md., man in connection with the shooting of a Charles Town man here Wednesday night.

An arrest warrant was issued late Thursday night for John Samuel Leigh, also known as Tracey Johnson, 25, of 2113 Brewton St., in District Heights, said Charles Town Police Chief Mike Aldridge. The warrant was issued for charges of malicious wounding, wanton endangerment with a firearm and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, Aldridge said.

The shooting occurred following an argument about 11 p.m. Wednesday on East North Street, police said.

The victim, Charles William Johnson, 29, of Route 5 Martinsburg, was shot at least four times and, doctors said, as many as five times. Johnson was transported to Jefferson Memorial Hospital and later flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was in fair condition Friday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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Police believe, based on witness accounts, that Leigh and Johnson became involved in an argument over a woman, according to a criminal complaint filed against Leigh by Charles Town Police officer Steve Harris.

Investigators believe Johnson was shot twice in the parking lot of Marware Apartments and two more times after he collapsed in a lawn across the street at 502 E. North Street, Aldridge said.

Following the shooting, the suspect fled in a small red sedan with two other people, police said. Police believe a 9 mm handgun was used in the shooting. Several 9 mm rounds were collected at the scene, Harris said.

A fresh gunshot hole was discovered in the exterior wall of a house next door to where the shooting occurred, Harris said. It is believed the shot went through Johnson, then hit the house.

The 9 mm rounds recovered at the scene were high-velocity bullets, Aldridge said. The ammunition is not recommended for police working in a populated area because of the risk of the bullets hurting someone else, said Aldridge.

The bullet that hit the house on East North Street stopped when it hit concrete inside the wall, Aldridge said.

"If it would have been a frame house it would have gone through," he said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call the police department at 1-304-725-2714.

It was the fourth shooting in Charles Town in the last two months. Although the police department was able to make arrests in the other three shootings, Aldridge said he is concerned about people settling disputes with guns.

"Honestly, I'm very concerned. I'm hoping this is just an unfortunate chain of events," Mayor Randy Hilton said Friday.

Hilton said many of the people causing the trouble are from out of town and he does not know why they are coming to Charles Town.

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