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A woman is dead and a man is in custody following a Saturday morning shooting outside the Morgantown Walmart.
Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston says the victim was shot and killed in the Walmart parking lot at around nine o'clock.
Eyewitnesses say they heard six shots as shoppers were heading in and out of the busy store. Many turned and ran back into the store to report the shooting.
MetroNews talked with several eyewitnesses at the scene who said they subdued the man who admitted to them that he fired the shots at the woman that he knew. Those eyewitnesses say the man was not hostile. They say after the shooting he put his gun back in his vehicle.
One eyewitness told MetroNews the shooter was an older man who kept saying that Child Protective Services had his grandchildren. Another eyewitness said he stood on the legs of the shooter until police arrived.
Chief Preston says the Walmart store, which sits alongside Interstate 68 just off the University Ave. Morgantown exit, was put on lockdown for a few minutes immediately after the shooting.
Morgantown Police processed the crime scene by using a canopy and surrounding the area with shopping carts and pieces of tarp.
MetroNews is following the story and will continue to update the information as it becomes available.
12:30PM Saturday Morgantown Police have identified the woman who was shot and killed in the parking lot in the Walmart in Morgantown Saturday as Shannon Lynn Stafford, 29, of Bruceton Mills in Preston County.
There were several posts to her Facebook page shortly after the shooting that took place at around nine o’clock Saturday morning.
One said, "RIP Shannon, I can't believe this happened. You were a wonderful person and I was so happy u were getting your little girl back"
Another friend of Deer Park, Maryland posted. " don't know what to say. I can tell you how amazing you were, but we already know that!! Heaven gained such a beautiful, loving angel today! We are going to miss you SO much Shannon ♥ Praying that your loved ones can find the strength they need to face these difficult days ahead of them. May you Rest in Peace our beautiful friend!"
Friends expressed shock. "Please say it isn't true....How could this happen to a person that was like my sister.....I love you Shannon....You will be missed so much."
Another post expressed similar sentiment. "I am in shock by the news I just heard. You were such a wonderful person. I can't imagine the horror that your family is in, as well as, Nick's family! May you rest forever in peace! I will always remember you! Many prayers to your family and Nick's family!"
UPDATE: 1PM Shooter has been identified as Larry Mitchell, 54, of Shinnston, father of Shannon Lynn Stafford's estranged husband. Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston says several shots were fired at Stafford as she sat in her car. Preston says Stafford got out of car and tried to run as Mitchell continued to fire.
I was there. I was standing in the garden center at 9:30 looking at flowers for the flower beds. I had JUST left that area to take Bella to potty when the shots were fired. I went to the door to see what had gone on but all I could see was a crowd of workers around what I had assumed was the dead body - working on preserving the crime scene while also keeping her idenity private till the police were there to deal with it.
The store was completely locked down for about 45 mins. It was only minutes after the first shot that the cops, firetrucks, and ambulence was there but they still kept everyone inside. At about 10:30 they unlocked the grocery side (furthest from the incident) for people that were parked on that side to leave.... by 11 the GM side was open but the garden center remained closed. We left the store about 11:30am.
I don't know this woman personally although the shooters name sound familiar I can't say I know it. All I can do is say a prayer for that family. :(