Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 10, 2012

2 detained in shooting incident

BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

GREEN VALLEY — With three separate investigation scenes within a three-mile radius, Mercer County law enforcement officers have had their hands full sorting through the details of what police have called a dispute between known drug dealers that escalated into a road rage wreck, shots fired and mountainous foot pursuit with two officers and two K-9s leading the chase.

“We caught two who were in the woods last night,” Detective Cpl. L.B. Murphy of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said. “We are now considering possible criminal charges against each of them. There is a third person of interest that we are still looking for.”

Murphy said that Mack Hughes, 31, and Shane Hartwell, age unavailable, both of the Brushfork area, were taken into custody separately Thursday night and Friday morning. Murphy said Hughes was caught at about 9 p.m. Thursday night at the Go Mart in Green Valley, and that Hartwell was caught Friday morning at a residence.

Murphy has been working the case since it unfolded shortly before 2 p.m. on Thursday when a silver Cadillac struck a maroon Dodge Stratus in the rear twice, forcing the Stratus off the road and into a ditch. At least two of the occupants were injured, but Murphy said he hasn’t had an opportunity to speak with them yet.

“Mr. Hughes and Mr. Hartwell haven’t been cooperating with us too much, and from what I understand from other deputies, the ones who were taken to the hospital weren’t cooperating too much either,” Murphy said. “All of them are tied to a group of known drug dealers that works in the Bluefield and Brushfork area.”

Murphy said that there was an exchange of gunfire at the crash site near the former Airport Tavern. We recovered two weapons,” he said. “One near the crash site and another near Scrubbies.” Murphy said that although there was an exchange of gunfire, “no one appears to have been hit,” he said.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police, Southern Regional Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, Bluefield Police Department, West Virginia Division of Forestry conservation officers and emergency responders from the Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department and the Princeton Rescue Squad responded to the three event scenes. Deputy D.A. Furches and his blood hound K-9 Maggie, as well as Sgt. Joe Peck of the West Virginia State Police and his K-9 Tommie, led the search for the fleeing suspects.

The incident remains under investigation, according to Murphy.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com