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W.Va. man shot to death

July 31, 2005|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

A warrant has been issued for a man identified as Dante Brown, considered a "person of interest" in the fatal shooting of a Shepherdstown, W.Va., man early Saturday, said Capt. K.C. Bohrer of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Ronald Kidrick, 34, was shot once in the top of the head with a handgun in the parking lot of the Relax Inn at 1022 Winchester Ave. in Martinsburg, Bohrer said.

Brown was still at large at press time Saturday. Bohrer said he is believed to be from the Baltimore area.

The warrant is seeking Brown on malicious wounding charges, Bohrer said.

Kidrick was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg, where he died later Saturday after a life-support system was removed, Bohrer said.

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Kidrick, an organ donor, was being kept alive while preparations were made to remove his organs, police said.

The shooting occurred around 5:20 a.m.

According to Bohrer, Kidrick received a call at his home early Saturday morning from one of his children from the motel.

Motel owner Vinod Gandhi said that two or three children had been living in room 145 at the motel with their mother, Mary Davis, "for four or five weeks."

Kidrick asked a friend, Christopher Petrucci, to drive him from Shepherdstown to the Martinsburg motel so he could check on his children, police said.

When he arrived there he went into Davis' room, police said. Inside were at least two children, about 5 and 6 years old, Bohrer said, and at least two adults, including Michael Moneypenney, 23, of Gerrardstown, W.Va.

For some as yet unknown reason, Kidrick pistol-whipped Moneypenney on the left side of his head, Bohrer said.

"He began running his mouth then he pulled out a handgun and hit me," Moneypenney said later in the morning in the parking lot of the motel.

Moneypenney said he had stopped by the motel to visit with Davis. He said he knew her from work. He said his girlfriend, whose name he said was Sandra, was also in the room when Kidrick came in.

Details of the shooting or a motive were still unknown, Bohrer said.

He said the people in the room "were partying."

Police said Moneypenney was taken to City Hospital for treatment. Moneypenney, who had a welt on the left side of his face, said he did not go to the hospital.

Bohrer said Brown also had a weapon and that Kidrick was not believed to have been shot with his own gun. Witnesses identified Brown as the shooter, police said.

Gandhi said he was unaware of the shooting until he heard police officers in the parking lot. "I had no idea what happened," he said.

All 16 rooms in the motel were occupied, he said.

A woman who was staying in the motel said she heard a woman screaming, but didn't know that someone had been shot until later.

Gandhi said he bought the motel, then known as the Windewald Motel, in 1996. He said he changed the name in 1997.

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