Murder defendant shot at City Hospital

June 19, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend this week in her home near Martinsburg was shot by a correctional officer and critically wounded Friday when he tried to escape from City Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman and a police lieutenant said.

City Hospital spokeswoman Teresa McCabe and Lt. George Swartwood, a Martinsburg Police detective, confirmed the man who was shot was Donald Berkley Surber Jr.

McCabe said Surber was taken from Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg to City's Hospital's emergency department at about 6 p.m. Friday.

He was seen there and was going to be released, in the custody of law enforcement officers, she said.

When Surber tried to escape at about 8:30 p.m., a correctional officer shot him, she said.

McCabe said Surber was taken to Winchester (Va.) Medical Center at about 10:40 p.m. in critical condition.

City Hospital diverted patients to other hospitals for a few hours after the shooting, a hospital supervisor said.


Surber was initially charged with kidnapping, then murder, after a 26-hour standoff that left 35-year-old Katherine Nicole Sharp dead inside her home on Raider Lane.

Authorities alleged Wednesday that Surber stabbed Sharp to death.

The standoff started Sunday morning. Authorities said Sharp's 14-year-old daughter called 911 and got out of the house at about 11:45 a.m.

Her 7-year-old son was not in the residence, authorities said.

Police were in touch with Surber for much of the standoff.

Just before 2 p.m. Monday, members of the West Virginia State Police Special Response team lobbed a type of gas into the home, police said.

Special Response Team members apprehended Surber and led him out of the home.

A vigil for Sharp was scheduled to be held Saturday evening.

Surber, 37, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday on the kidnapping charge. It wasn't clear Wednesday if that was going to change because the first-degree murder charge was added.

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