A West Virginia man shot and killed his neighbors when he saw them inspecting what he mistakenly thought was his own land. Rodney Bruce Black, 62, of Barboursville, West Virginia was charged Saturday with two counts of first degree murder. The two men who were shot, Garrick Hopkins, 60, and Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, were brothers. Garrick Hopkins decided on that Saturday he wanted to show his brother where he planned to build a new home for his family. Both men were married with children.
Black told police that he thought his alleged victims were breaking into a building, indicating that the men were shaking the door on his tool shed in his backyard. That was when Black immediately grabbed his rifle, loaded it, and shot both men from his home window.
Police say that the two men were firmly on their own property trying to get into their tool shed. They found none of Black’s belongings inside of the shed. Police are still investigating the incident.
“It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy,” said Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas. “We’re still trying to figure all of this out. Hopefully we’ll find out his reasoning as the investigation continues.” McComas also said that there was no indication that race played a factor in the shooting of the two men.
Police also found multiple guns with a large stockpile of ammunition. Black was not found under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. “Hopefully we’ll find out his reasoning as the investigation continues,” McComas said.
Black is currently being held without bond at West Regional Jail. His preliminary hearing will be held on February 4th.