(10/16/2007)
By Bob Weaver

The principal at Wirt County Middle School is being investigated for a weapons charge and could possibly face removal from his position.

WV-DNR officials are reporting that principal J. D. Hoover is connected to what was described as an accidental shooting incident of an 18-year-old male in Wirt County, an incident reported early last week by the Herald.

Hoover was a former guidance counselor at Calhoun Middle-High School.

Early reports said 18-year-old Christopher Giffin was shot in the head by his fiancÚ's father while squirrel hunting. Giffin was taken by private car to an Elizabeth convenience store, after which an ambulance was summoned.

Sources indicated a bullet went through Giffin's ear and lodged in his jaw. He was taken to a Morgantown hospital and is said to be recovering.

The West Virginia DNR confirms that an investigation has taken place, but they're not commenting on details.

Wirt County school superintendent Dan Metz declined to comment on Hoover's status at the school, saying it is a "personnel matter."

He would not confirm whether or not Hoover was still working, suspended or placed on administrative leave.

Jim Rader, president of the Wirt Board of Education, would not confirm Hoover's status, referring the issue to the superintendent.

The Hur Herald has issued a Freedom of Information request to superintendent Metz, based on the assumption that principal Hoover's status with the Wirt school system should be public information available to parents.


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