CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Shaffer says a “drug deal gone bad” ended with the deaths of four people Friday, including a father and son who were delivering newspapers at the time.

“(They were) Working very hard, getting up very early and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Shaffer of the deaths of the two innocent bystanders on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

The shootings happened around 4:30 a.m. Friday on Locust Avenue in Clarksburg, behind the Kroger store.

Shaffer said the home was a “known drug location” in what had once been a nice neighborhood.  He said it has declined during the past decade.

“Two individuals were initially shot and, I believe that, as the suspect was exiting the house, he encountered the two innocent people and went ahead and dispatched them as well,” he said.

The Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram identified those two victims as Fred and Freddy Swiger who had delivered newspapers on a contract basis for 30 years.

“They were extremely nice, loyal and cared very deeply about their customers.  Further, their customers cared very deeply about them from the calls already this morning (Friday).  They built a connection with people that was unique and special in every regard,” said Brian Jarvis, Exponent-Telegram President.

“We hope justice will be served as soon as possible for this heinous and senseless act.”

Clarksburg City Councilmember Patsy Trecost said his community is in mourning.

“Without a doubt, our thoughts and our prayers are with their families,” said Trecost.  “It’s just an unhappy conversation we’re having and a lot of sorrow is going out throughout the whole community.”

Shaffer said there is one suspect for the shootings.  As of Friday morning, no arrest had been made, but Shaffer said “there is no reason for the public to be alarmed.”

Clarksburg Police were conducting interviews with witnesses.

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  • sandi

    26 comments and only one expression of sympathy? My heart goes out to the victim's families. May they find some peace in spite of all this madness.

  • me

    Big dave and clickie dale,

    Maybe they have arrested these people before and our justice system and prosecutors turn them loose again in the streets. Police arrest them its up to the prosecutors and justice system to keep them there. he police are doing their job theu justice system and prosecutors....not so much. Feel free to go to the police academy and and join the police force

  • Chjarles

    When is the State bringing back the Death Penalty?

  • Jeremy

    Very sad, Prayers and Condolences to family and friends, JUSTICE to the guilty.

  • blugldmn

    They were to busy railroading a woman who is a domectic abuse victim to worry about these things.

  • David F

    When will the U.S. realize drug-dealing leads to almost all other crimes in this country? It's time we adopt some of the policies from other countries that don't have significant drug problems such as executing drug dealers. Drug dealers are nothing but scum who prey off of the weakness and suffering of the those addicted. If dealers were scared that their first conviction could result in their own death I guarantee we would see and steep decline in the amount violent crimes and theft in this country.

    • wirerowe

      David F is right on in my mind the death penalty would be a major deterrent and in anybody's m
      In it would cut down on recidivism. We either deal by this by killing off the dealers or we live with it.

  • Rich

    If Shaffer knew it was a known drug location why had he not done something about it before this happened? Could he be an incompetent prosecutor?

  • Clickie Dale

    "know drug location" Tells me Harrison County needs more law enforcement resources and concerned citizens to provide info.

    • BigDave

      Exactly what I was thinking. If it was a "known drug location," then why wasn't law enforcement taking action instead of hanging out at the local donut shop?

  • leroy j gibbs

    A corrupt city government leads to a corrupt people

    • Gadfly

      Maybe it’s a corrupt people, leads to a corrupt city government.

      • Kevin

        Chicken or the egg ....

  • Brandon


  • wvu999

    Tons of strip clubs too featuring ugly fat chicks

    • Jephre

      And you know this... how?

      • WVWho

        His relatives work there :)

  • Really?

    Rampant unemployment, drug killings, the largest Bath Salts hub in the Eastern United States.... but you're's NOTHING like Cleveland...

  • Really?

    Clarksburg is becoming little Cleveland.

    • john

      Used to be Little Chicago when the mob was around

    • jmr012

      When this kind of thing starts happening 3 or 4 times a month, then you can call it "little Cleveland." Until then, this is a tragic, isolated incident.

  • jomomma

    I agree....better to be 'last and right, than first and wrong....

  • JB

    "Shaffer said the bodies were discovered being the Kroger..."

    Nice proofing of such a long article.

    • Kevin

      2 innocent people died and your worried about a mistake in this article,,, pitiful

    • Shadow

      Oh, the perfect one. What difference did it make, you understood what was meant?

      • JB

        These sort of mistakes are rampant in today's 'journalism'. It shows a lack of effort and pride in what writers produce.

        • Hoppy Kercheval

          JB, at Metronews we have tremendous pride in what we do and work very hard. Of course, mistakes are going to happen, especially under deadline pressure of a breaking story.


          Hoppy Kercheval

          • Habib Haddad

            You are both right. There seems to be more pride in getting the story out than in getting the grammar and usage correct. Your J1 prof at WVU would take your head off for such poor proofreading, Hop.

          • wvrefugee

            Of course, Hoppy, if only Metro News was as forgiving to others as you expect us to be!!!!!! That is a poor attempt at saying we screwed up!!!!!