(10/21/2010)
A Wirt County Grand Jury found that Cpl. D. P. Starcher committed no criminal violations in the shooting and killing of a Wirt County man on August 11, after hearing testimony from First Sergeant E. E. Ashcroft, who investigated the matter.

State Police had declined to name the officer involved in the shooting of Joseph D. Harrison, which is customary following such incidents.

The information, requested multiple times by regional media, was released during Grand Jury action.

A Wirt County Journal report says that on Aug. 11 at approximately 4:49 p.m., Corporal Starcher and Sheriff D. K. Wilson Jr. were dispatched to the Elizabeth Detachment of the West Virginia State Police in a response to a 911 call.

The call reported that an individual in a UPS truck was shooting at the Elizabeth Detachment.

The press information says that upon arrival, Starcher approached the passenger side of the UPS truck while Sheriff Wilson approached the driver's side yelling multiple times "Sheriff's Office come out with your hands up" and "drop the weapon" and "come out."

Corporal Starcher observed Harrison raising a rifle and pointing it in the direction of Sheriff Wilson, the report says.

Starcher fired one shot, which struck Harrison.

"Harrison yelled, fell forward and rose back up again pointing his rifle in the direction of the sheriff. At that time, Corporal Starcher fired a second shot, which killed Harrison."

The grand jury's report says the incident began when UPS driver Jay Hannah was driving his truck on Deevers Fork Road in Wirt County, and observed Harrison standing in the middle of the road pointing a rifle at him.

He stopped his truck and Harrison approached the driver's side and told him to call 911.

Hannah informed him that he did not have cell phone service. Harrison then fired one shot into the air while standing at the driver's door.

Again, he told Hannah to call 911.

He then went on to tell Hannah that he wanted to go to the police, wanted to be put in jail and he wanted to kill himself.

Again, Hannah told Harrison that he did not have cell phone service.

Harrison repeated that he wanted to go to the police station and advised Hannah to not do anything dumb or he would shoot him.

Harrison walked around to the passenger side while pointing the rifle at Hannah and entered into the truck.

He instructed Hannah to take him to the police station. He kept his rifle pointed at Hannah throughout the trip from Deevers Fork to the Elizabeth Detachment.

During the trip, Harrison kept commenting that he hated his life, hated his family, wanted to be put in jail and that he would kill himself.

Upon arrival at the police barracks, Harrison took the keys to the UPS truck and instructed Hannah not to leave the truck.

He also threatened to kill the first person who walked through the door. He walked toward the detachment and fired one shot at the door. At that time, no one was present in the detachment.

After Harrison shot towards the detachment, Hannah escaped from the truck and ran to a nearby business.

Shortly before the arrival of Corporal Starcher and Sheriff Wilson, Harrison attempted to enter the locked police detachment, but was unable to gain entry.

While returning to the UPS truck, a customer from Chris's Barber Shop began yelling at Harrison.

Harrison responded by yelling back and pointing the rifle toward the customer.

The testimony was supported by multiple witnesses in the FoodMart Plaza who observed the actions of Harrison and the response to his actions by the law enforcement officers, according to the report.

The report finding no wrong doing by Cpl. Starcher was signed by Michael J. Mills, foreman of the grand jury.


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