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Investigation continues in shooting

January 10, 2002

Investigation continues in shooting



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


MARTINSBURG, W. Va. - A 23-year-old Martinsburg man who was hospitalized after being shot twice in the head in a house in the Potomac Hills subdivision last month is expected to be transferred to a nursing home within a week, Berkeley County's prosecuting attorney said Wednesday.

Matthew Cook has not been able to talk following the Dec. 10 shooting, but he has been able to move his hands and feet in response to verbal commands, said Pamela Games-Neely.

It was unclear whether Cook would make a complete recovery from the gunshot wounds, Games-Neely said.

Games-Neely has said her office plans to avoid involvement in any prosecution in the shooting because Cook's mother is a staff member in the prosecutor's office.

Games-Neely said once the investigation is complete, her office will contact the West Virginia State Prosecutor's Institute for counsel to be assigned. Cook and Michael Largent, 23, also of Martinsburg, were shot inside a house at 249 Burnside Drive.

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Cook was shot twice in the head and twice in the hip area and Largent was shot once in the chest.

Both were taken to Washington County Hospital, and Largent has since been released, Games-Neely said.

Games-Neely said West Virginia State Police are moving forward in determining what led to the shootings, but she declined to comment on any possible motive.

"They have been making progress all along on this thing," said Games-Neely.

Police had earlier speculated that a robbery might have been in progress when the shooting occurred.

Troopers recovered bullet casings from the scene and lab tests were to be conducted on them, Games-Neely said.

Trooper K.W. Martin said as many as eight people were in the Burnside Drive home when Cook and Largent were shot.

Martin said he believes several people fled the house when the shooting occurred.

Others remained and were joined by neighbors who gathered at the house to see what had happened, Martin said.

Shortly after the shooting, Berkeley County Sheriff's deputies stopped a motorist in the development who was driving in a suspicious manner, Martin said. When deputies approached the car, they observed Largent sitting in the front passenger's seat suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest, Martin said.

When asked to comment the day after the shootings, neighbors in the Potomac Hills subdivision off Grade Road near Marlowe, declined to speak about the shooting, saying they did not want to get involved.

One man said there had been a growing problem with rowdy teenagers in the development.

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