Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 3, 2013

Playground shooting injures three

KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A shooting that injured three people at a city playground Tuesday was spurred by an argument that began on Facebook, according to police.

Matthew Jackson, 22, of Bluefield, Va., was arrested on eight felony charges in connection with the shooting at the East River Playground on Augusta Street, according to Lt. C.S. Myers with the Bluefield Police Department. Myers said Jackson will be facing five counts of wanton endangerment and three counts of malicious wounding.

Jackson was taken into custody at the scene of the shooting on unrelated outstanding warrants.

Myers said police were dispatched to the scene at 2:43 a.m. on a shots fired call at the playground. Myers said three of the people at the playground sustained minor injuries after being hit with “pellets from a shotgun.” Myers said the adult and two juveniles injured at the scene were treated and released at a local hospital.

Myers said a preliminary investigation indicated the group had gathered at the playground following an argument on Facebook.

“The argument had begun several hours before the incident,” Myers said. “We will have to get a court order to see those Facebook records.”

Myers said the argument escalated and the parties involved agreed to meet offline at the East River Playground.

“I don’t think the playground itself has a problem with security,” Myers said. “The playground was just the meet up point. The playground was the common denominator for everyone involved in this incident. It was the halfway point between them.”

Myers said Jackson may face other charges as the investigation continues. Myers said no one else has been charged in connection with the shooting.

Jackson is presently in custody at the Bluefield City Jail.

Patrolman R.D. Davis of the Bluefield Police Department initially handled the shooting call.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com