Upshur County Sheriff’s Office: Two people shot on Bailey Ridge Wednesday evening

BUCKHANNON — Two people were shot in a domestic incident along Bailey Ridge Road Wednesday evening, one of two shootings in Upshur County that happened nearly simultaneously.

“On March 20, 2024, at approximately 7:52 p.m., while multiple units were assisting the West Virginia State Police on a shooting call in Southern Upshur County, the Upshur County 911 Communications Center received a report of a second shooting on Bailey Ridge Road in Buckhannon, West Virginia,” according to a press release from the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office. “When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found two subjects with gunshot wounds. These sheriff’s deputies provided medical aid until EMS units arrived on scene.”

Upshur County Sheriff Mike Coffman said both shootings were related to domestic disputes. On Bailey Ridge, a woman was at her parents’ home when the father of her baby showed up.

“They wouldn’t let him in, an altercation ensued, and he tried to force entry to the house,” Coffman said. “The father engaged him, and the gunfire started at that point, both ways.”

Coffman said both men were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. The homeowner was treated and released, while the other individual was in critical condition as of Thursday morning, the sheriff said.

Deputies worked the case throughout the night, and the shooting remains under investigation.

Coffman said the response from multiple agencies allowed his officers to quickly respond to the Bailey Ridge incident.

“We were actively doing CPR on the individual [in southern Upshur County] when this call came in,” Coffman said. “The ambulances had just made it there and the State Police were investigating, so we were able to break free and turn our attention to this other call.”

The incidents are the latest in a series of shootings that have rocked central West Virginia in the last two weeks, with several people now injured or dead across Lewis, Upshur and Barbour counties.

“It’s been unbelievable, the number of shootings we’ve had in the area, from Barbour County to our area here, with the shooting across the Poe Bridge last week, and now these two shootings,” Coffman said. “You had one in Harrison County, right at the Lewis County line, and you had a murder in Pocahontas County. It’s unprecedented for our county or surrounding counties.”

The sheriff noted that the one factor connecting most of the incidents is that they began as domestic disputes.

“These were domestic-related,” Coffman said. With the two that we had here and the one in Barbour County, it seems like that’s the common denominator. The domestic situations—you can’t really predict that. They’re volatile, and they’re hard.”

The multiple incidents are testing the manpower of the various law enforcement departments.

“We’ve really been hit hard recently, and our resources are pretty strained,” Coffman said. “This one is still under investigation, along with the one on the Poe Bridge, so we’re actively working both of those. The State Police are working the one in the southern part of the county, but we had four or five officers up there, including myself.”

And it’s not just a local phenomenon, the sheriff noted.

“I was talking to the crime scene team last night, and they said they are just covered up with these kinds of incidents all over the state,” Coffman said. “They are working tons of them.”

Coffman said he could not release the names of the individuals involved in the shooting incident. As of now, no one has been arrested but the sheriff did not rule out that possibility.

Read My Buckhannon’s coverage of the shooting in southern Upshur County by clicking here.

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