VAN, W.Va. – Boone County deputies say a long standing dispute escalated in to gunfire Thursday night and now one man is hospitalized and another is in jail.
Gary Hubbard of Van was driving along Route 5 on Williams Mountain between Van and Prenter headed to his home around 9:30 pm Thursday when his vehicle came under a hail of gunfire.
“It appears he stepped out into the roadway and fired multiple rounds, possibly as high as ten rounds into the back of a vehicle as it was headed down the road,” said Boone County Chief Deputy Chad Barker.
Hubbard was hit three times in the back by those shots from a .22 caliber rifle. The alleged shooter was Dale Lowther Jr. 33, of Van. The first reports to 911 indicated he had been struck by a vehicle and was lying in the roadway. Barker said the scene was hectic when they arrived and they had to sort out the details.
“We feel now the report of somebody being struck by a vehicle was sort of a ruse,” said Barker. “He either came up with the story of being struck by a vehicle prior to the shooting to justify the shooting or maybe to get a ride to the hospital to escape.”
Deputies accompanied Lowther to CAMC where emergency room doctors determined he had not been injured. He was immediately taken into custody and is lodged in the Southwestern Regional Jail. Lowther faces charges of attempted murder.
Barker said although there has been an ongoing dispute between the neighboring families, it is unclear if the shooting was unprovoked or if an argument earlier may have sparked a heated confrontation