Two of the shootings happened in the Westover area and the other was in the Cheat Lake area in Monongalia County, authorities said.
Monongalia County 911 director Mike Wolfe identified the suspect as Jody Lee Hunt, 39, of Westover. Hunt may be driving a black 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck, with a sticker in the window and a blacked-out license plate, authorities told The Charleston Gazette.
“We ask that everyone stay vigilant and use their discretion about whether they should leave their homes,” Wolfe said.
Hunt was described as 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9 and weighing about 150 pounds, authorities told WSAZ.com. He was last seen wearing a white hat. Authorities were advising anyone who has information to dial 911 or contact West Virginia State Police.
WAJR.com reported that Hunt made a Facebook post that indicated he was having relationship problems with a woman.
“I poured out my heart to her only to be maniupulated as to what I could give her,” the post said, according to WAJR.com. “Life is short. It’s not all games. Don’t play a game with ones heart.”
He continued: “My actions were not right nor were the actions of those who tried to tear me down and take from me. This was not the plan but a struggle to see that those who strives to hurt me received their fair pay of hurt like I received.”
State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous identified the two victims from the Cheat Lake shooting as 39-year-old Sharon Kay Berkshire, of Westover, and 28-year-old Michael David Frum, of Maidsville. Doug Brady, of Westover, who owned a local towing company, was identified by WAJR.com as one of the victims in the Westover shootings. The fourth victim was not immediately identified.
WVMetroNews.com said the shootings appeared to be aimed at specific victims. According to Monongalia County Circuit Court records, Berkshire filed a domestic violence case against Hunt last month. Court records also indicated there were no protective orders currently in place for Berkshire.
As a precaution, all schools in Monongalia County were placed on lockdown, Westover police Sgt. M. Starsick said.
“In no way, shape or form have the schools been involved in this incident,” he told the Gazette.
West Virginia University in nearby Morgantown said there was no immediate threat to the campus, and classes resumed Monday following the Thanksgiving break.
State documents indicate Hunt owned J&J Towing and Repair LLC of Westover. Calls placed by The Associated Press to the business and Hunt’s home went unanswered Monday afternoon.
Frank Brown lives in a house behind the towing company’s lot. He said normally the lot is busy in the early morning but there was no such activity Monday.
The towing company’s front door was padlocked, although the lights inside and an elaborate security system with TV monitors were turned on.