Miss. shooting victim was Purple Heart recipient

September 16, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A 28-year-old man who died early Sunday after he was shot in the parking lot of a Berkeley County sports bar was a Purple Heart recipient who served in Iraq with the Mississippi Army National Guard, according to a National Guard spokesman.

Samson Edmond of Columbus, Miss., was pronounced dead at City Hospital in Martinsburg after being shot once in the chest at The Brickhouse Bar & Grill along Mid-Atlantic Parkway, according to police.

The shooting was reported at 2:55 a.m., police said.

Five suspects who were detained in Washington County after the shooting were interviewed and released, according to Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Gary Harmison. At least three of the individuals are Maryland residents, Harmison said.

“Right now, we have persons of interest, but no one has been charged,” Harmison said.

Edmond was injured by an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 with the Mississippi National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery, Mississippi National Guard spokesman Maj. Christian Patterson confirmed Monday.

Edmond, who was a specialist in the National Guard, left the organization in 2009, Patterson said.

Edmond’s driver’s license indicated he was from Mississippi, but investigators learned he had been working in Mechanicsburg, Pa. An individual where Edmond worked identified him as being with “naval support,” Harmison said.

Harmison said he did not know how long Edmond had been in the area, adding that he was living in Maryland.

Edmond went to the club near Exit 16 off Interstate 81 with a friend who served in Iraq with him, Harmison said.

Edmond was not armed at the time of the shooting, Harmison said.

Evidence collected by police is being analyzed, and Harmison said investigators need witnesses to share any information they have about what happened.

Harmison said investigators do not believe the fight was drug-related, but declined to elaborate on what triggered the altercation.

Members of the Mississippi Air National Guard flew a C-17 to the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Open House & Air Show south of Martinsburg for a static display over the weekend, but Edmond had no connections to the 167th Airlift Wing’s part of the show, West Virginia National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. David Lester said.

Anyone who witnessed the shooting may contact Deputy William Christian at 304-267-7000 or Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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