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Motive unclear in W.Va. shooting

April 15, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police initially believed a Bunker Hill, W.Va., man charged in the shooting death of his second cousin Friday afternoon may have been taking the victim to a hospital.

Now they are not sure.

Steven E. Cole, 37, of Tuscarora Pike, was shot on Gold Miller Road about two-tenths of a mile north of the Virginia line, police said.

After the shooting, Cole was placed into a cab of a pickup truck and driven to Virginia by John W. Jenkins Jr., who was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, according to police and Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith.

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Bleeding from at least two gunshot wounds, Cole jumped out of the truck into a Virginia intersection and stumbled on the road, said Capt. Robert Eckman of the Frederick County (Va.) Sheriff's Department.

Employees at the White Hall Grocery at the intersection of White Hall Road and Apple Pie Ridge Road called 911 and attempted to help Cole, Eckman said.

It is unclear whether Jenkins was heading to Winchester (Va.) Medical Center, Eckman said.

There is a left turn Jenkins could have made near the intersection that would have taken him toward the hospital, but now police speculate he may have headed straight, Eckman said Sunday.

"There is some reason he (Cole) got out of the truck at Apple Pie Ridge," Eckman said.

"It's all got to be put together," said Smith, adding that a motive for the shooting has not been determined.

Jenkins, 34, of Speck's Run Road, was still being held in the Clarke-Frederick-Fauquier-Winchester Regional Jail in Winchester Sunday night. Jenkins is expected to have an extradition hearing this morning at General District Court there, Eckman said.

Also this morning, an autopsy is expected to be conducted on Cole's body to determine how many times he was shot, Eckman said.

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