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Man charged with murder after allegedly shooting victim five times in Randolph County

ELKINS — A Randolph County man was arrested on second-degree murder charges Tuesday after allegedly shooting a victim five times, killing him.

According to a press release from Randolph County Sheriff Rob Elbon, officers were responding to an initial call about a dog that had been shot in the Chenoweth Creek area when they were redirected to another residence where a man on a side-by-side had been shot.

“On March 27, 2023, about 5:04 p.m., Randolph 911 received a call about a person shooting her dog,” the release states. “She was requesting the humane officer return her call. The humane officer and deputies were dispatched to 193 Buckskin Drive on Chenoweth Creek, Elkins.”

Ten minutes later, officers were told that more shots were fired.

“Deputies were redirected to 5185 Chenoweth Creek Road for shots fired and a male subject that had been shot,” the release states. “Caller advised that Stephen Cross had shot Johnathan Chenoweth on his side-by-side and then ran inside his house. Deputies A.B. Beverly, L.R. Elbon and B.M. Roy arrived on scene and confirmed one male was down and unresponsive. A perimeter was set up until other law enforcement units could arrive on scene.”

Officers at the scene talked the suspected shooter out of his house.

“The Mountain Region SRT Unit was alerted to a possible barricaded suspect and was en route to the scene,” according to the release. “As other law enforcement units arrived on scene, Lt. B.A. Talkington began to use his car’s PA system and ordered the suspect out of the house. After several attempts, the suspect and his wife came outside and were secured without incident.

“The house was then cleared and secured. The victim was checked for a pulse and was confirmed deceased. The suspect, Stephen Cross, was taken into custody. The WVSP Crime Scene Team was then requested to process the scene and to secure all evidence.”

Police say Chenoweth was shot five times.

“Further investigation revealed that there were seven shots fired and the victim had been hit five times,” the release states. “A criminal complaint for Stephen Ray Cross charging him with 2nd Degree Murder was filed with Randolph County Magistrate Court.”

“This case is still under investigation by the Mountain Region Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office. Assisting at the scene were the Elkins Police Department, WV State Police, Randolph County Humane Officer and Randolph County EMS.”

Elbon asks anyone with information about the case to contact 911.

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