Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 24, 2014

City hall suicide shooter’s house searched for child porn earlier in day


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Chief J.W. Howell of the Princeton Police Department said late this afternoon that an officer of the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched the residence of a 61-year-old man prior to when he took his own life today at Princeton city hall.

“Evidence was seized during the search,” Howell said. “We believe that this may have had something to do with the events that followed.”

Detective Cpl. S.A. Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department and the WVICAC Task Force confirmed that he had executed a search warrant at the suicide victim’s residence and that he seized evidence, but he said the suicide victim was not arrested.

The West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force handles child pornography investigations in the region.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.



Original story below



PRINCETON — Law enforcement officials have confirmed an individual has shot himself at the Princeton Municipal building this afternoon.



Chief J.W. Howell, of the Princeton Police Department confirmed an individual took his own life at the city offices.



The shooting occurred at 12:20 p.m.



Howell said the man is a resident of Princeton. They have not released the name of the individual pending notification of family members. Howell also said they did not know why the man took his own life. During a brief press conference in the back parking lot of the Princeton municipal building, Police Chief J.W. Howell provided a few additional details about the incident.



“We don’t know at this time why he came to city hall,” Howell said. He added that the incident occurred in the foyer near the city offices. He said that the male subject entered the building alone at 12:20 p.m.



M.P. Forbes, Mercer County Sheriff’s Department chaplain, was on the scene. Howell said he could not release the name of the subject until family members have been identified.



Mercer County sheriff’s deputies and detectives along with the West Virginia State Police looked through an older model, four-door Toyota Camry that was parked in the parking lot.



Howell said additional information will be available later this afternoon.



Due to the incident at city hall, officials have confirmed that tonight's meeting of the Princeton City Council set for 6 p.m. will be held at the Fred Gilbert Center instead of city hall.



Check back at bdtonline.com throughout the day for the latest details on this incident.