BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. — Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas said the right to defend one’s life and property comes with circumstances that must always be called into question.
Such was the case with Rodney Black, 63, of Barboursville, who called 911 Saturday saying he had just shot two men trying to break into a building behind his home.
“He said he saw people around his outbuilding, trying to break in,” McComas said. “He opened the window and shot the first one. The second one didn’t run so he shot him. He told the dispatcher he believed both had died.”
Killed were Garrick Hopkins, 60, of Milton, and his brother Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, of Oak Hill. They were visiting the property Garrick recently bought with plans to build a new home.
“The lot next to (Black’s) was originally owned by his parents,” said McComas. “It had recently been sold to the Hopkins family. Mr. Hopkins and his brother had gone out there to basically survey the property.”
The building was a “pretty good distance” away from Black’s home, according to McComas, and contained nothing of any real value inside. At the time of the shootings, the outbuilding belonged to Hopkins and not to Black, who was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
“If you elect to use deadly force, you have to live with what you’ve done afterward,” McComas said. “These gentlemen were a good distance away from the house and the suspect was in his house behind locked doors.”
Black is held without bail at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.