CHARLESTON, W. Va. — The man who shot and killed another man Sunday on Charleston’s West Side and then turned the gun on himself was seeking revenge, according to Charleston detectives.

In a news conference Tuesday, Charleston Police Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper said Patrick Price, 34, murdered Michael Cassell, 36, for filing a child-abuse complaint against him.

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Steve Cooper said Charleston police viewed murder-suicide suspect Patrick Price as volatile but lacked evidence to arrest him on child-abuse charges.

“Based on the fact the Cassell family initiated the complaint, Mr. Price retaliated for that and actually took the man’s life,” said Cooper.

Around the first of the year, the Cassell family and others alleged that Price sexually abused a teenage girl who was a friend of the family. Cooper said police were in the process of interviewing Price regarding the alleged abuse incident mere days before the murder.

“At the time of the interview, he had agreed to come back downtown,” said Cooper. “He said he was out of town working, but when he got back he would contact us and was willing to take a lie detector test and things of that nature.”

That was the last time detectives spoke with Price before he went through with the murder. Cooper said the Cassell family and Price were not on good terms.

“There was an ongoing dispute between he and the Cassells because they were pretty clear with him they know what’s going on and they are going to help this girl,” said Cooper. “He didn’t like that.”

Cooper said police lacked enough evidence at the time to charge Price with anything in connection with the child-abuse case.

In the few encounters they had with Price, however, Cooper said police could see he was a dangerous man.

“We sensed that he may be a volatile-type person. We took precautions when we dealt with him,” said Cooper. “He had a criminal history that indicated that he was a violent person.”

Cassell’s wife, 11-year-old daughter and sister-in-law were in the house at the time of the shooting on Red Oak Street, but managed to escaped without injury.

Cooper said despite Price’s death, the child-abuse case is still open and remains under investigation.


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  • Alice

    He was violent...obviously but I do not think he committed the sick crime he is being accused of. Both families are now changed forever and it's sad.

  • ex

    This is a prime example of how people change !! No matter how well u think u know someone. who's to say 10 years from now their gonna be the same !

  • jessica price

    i mean my father was rude and michele cassel saved my life. sorry for the confussion

    • Alice

      You'll stick to this story forever, won't you.i hope one day you understand consequences and straighten up.

  • Beckie

    You knew there was an ongoing dispute with this deviant against this family, you knew he was volatile-type, you knew he had a criminal history and you just waited for him to come on down to talk to you? Now this family who tried to do the right thing has been forever changed. It would not surprise me if they bring suit regarding this wrongful death.