CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two people are recovering from injuries suffered in a melee at the end of a private party at the Charleston Moose Lodge. One of the victims was shot, the other suffered injuries in a fight which broke out in the parking lot around 2 a.m. Friday.
“A party finished about two o’clock and as they were loading out, several fights broke out on the parking lot,” said Corporal Bryan Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department.
Humphreys said the first deputy to arrive was unable to get into the parking lot by traffic leaving the party. Once he made his way through the traffic, gunfire erupted.
“He estimated several hundred were on the parking lot when he arrived,” said Humphreys. “He heard several shots and was able to make it through the cars, but by that time people were fleeing in every direction.”
The two victims arrived via personal vehicles at the emergency room of Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital. Jerome Gooch, 28, of Charleston was shot in the leg. The second victim was Shawn Jackson, 28, of Cleveland, Ohio. Jackson suffered injuries in the fight, but was not shot.
The party was a private affair and not sanctioned by West Virginia State University. Humphreys said some of the party goers may have been alumni and students on hand for this weekend’s homecoming activities, but it was not an official function of the university. The two victims were not WVSU students.
Deputies questioned as many people as the could, but have so far been unable to identify or locate the shooter. They are hoping others will come forward with information to aid in the investigation. It’s also unclear what started the fight. A limousine hit by the gunfire returned to the scene to allow deputies to examine a bullet hole in the vehicle.