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Police believe man killed in W.Va. nightclub shooting wasn't the target

July 23, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- One of three men shot at the Orioles Club near Martinsburg early Sunday has died, authorities said Tuesday morning.

Kenneth Edward Waybright Jr., of Stephens City, Va., was pronounced dead at City Hospital in Martinsburg shortly after county medical examiner Travis Shroades arrived there about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

An autopsy was scheduled to be performed in Morgantown, W.Va., Shroades said.

Waybright, 37, went out for a drink by himself Saturday night, according to his wife, Tracey Waybright.

Waybright said her husband had "a couple of dollars in his pocket" and wanted to go out to a club after returning from work-related training classes in Houston the night before.

Waybright said she stayed at home with their two children. The couple would have celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on Thursday, she said.

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"He enjoyed going to clubs, he liked to dress up ... and put on his white tennis shoes," Waybright said in a phone interview.

Berkeley County Sheriff's Department deputy Lt. Gary Harmison said Tuesday that he didn't believe Waybright was being targeted in the parking lot of the club at 214 Mid Atlantic Parkway where at least six shots were fired just before 3 a.m. Sunday.

One of the other two men wounded in the gunfire was still in stable condition Tuesday, Harmison said.

Donzel White, 23, of Martinsburg, was in surgery for at least one gunshot wound to his arm at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., when Harmison went to interview him Tuesday.

Harmison said he wasn't sure whether White was shot once or twice, and was unable to talk to him.

Dale Knight, 22, of Martinsburg, was treated at City Hospital for a gunshot wound to his upper leg and released Sunday.

Waybright said she believed her husband went to the Orioles Club only a couple times and usually went to another establishment in southern Berkeley County.

"It feels like a book that I'm reading," Waybright said of the shock she has experienced since officers came to the couple's home about 4 a.m. Sunday to tell her that her husband was shot.

The couple's children, Travis, 14, and Ashlyn, 11, have struggled with the loss of their dad, who loved to take them to the mall and go shopping, she said. Her husband had another daughter, Kaitlynn, 17, from a previous relationship, Waybright said.

"He was a very giving man. We donated his organs because I know that is what he would have wanted," she said.

When not working in Chantilly, Va., for Dulles Industries repairing large industrial drills, Waybright enjoyed playing electric guitar. He bought one for his son for Christmas and they played together, she said.

Though her days have been "running together" this week, Waybright said she has taken comfort in knowing her husband did not fear death and had a strong belief in God.

When a loved one died, her husband would say, "'Tracey, you're not supposed to be sad,'" she said.

"That makes it a whole lot easier," she said. "You never think it's going to happen to you ... then in the blink of an eye they're gone."

Besides his wife and children, Waybright is survived by his mother, Sherri Luttrell, and a brother, Terry Laird, both of Winchester, Va.

Owners of the Orioles Club, registered with state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (ABCA) as Martinsburg Nest 313, Fraternal Order of Orioles Inc., declined to comment about the shooting or Waybright's death on the advice of legal counsel on Tuesday.

Authorities are hoping individuals who have information about what now is officially considered a homicide investigation will come forward.

"If the public's got any knowledge, we would appreciate it," said Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely.

Anyone with information about the shootings can contact Harmison at 304-267-7000 or 304-702-2843, or Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999. Callers can remain anonymous and a reward of up to $1,000 is being offered, Harmison has said.

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