High School Football

Police have person of interest in shooting death of Beckley basketball player

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Police have identified a person of interest in connection with the Sunday night shooting death of Beckley Woodrow Wilson basketball player Dwayne Richardson.

Richardson, 18, was shot in the chest at about 9:20 p.m. in East Beckley. Police said it happened in the 500 block of Terrill Street.

Dwayne Richardson

Beckley Police Chief of Detectives Lieutenant David Allard said a private vehicle taking Richardson to the hospital flagged down police on Fayette Street as they were responding to the scene.

“EMS was there as well. So they loaded him up, began performing life-saving measures and then transported him to Raleigh General Hospital. He was flown from there to CAMC where he succumbed to his injuries,” Allard said.

There is a person of interest but no arrests have been made, Allard said.

“We are processing evidence that we collected. We are serving search warrants. We do have some things to go on,” he said. “We’re still trying to determine what led to this incident.”

Police are seeking the public’s help. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers of WV via their free P3 Tips app or Detective Cpl. Joe Stewart at 304-256-1708. Cash rewards will be paid for information leading to an arrest in this incident

Richardson, a junior, averaged 8.6 ppg, was a part-time starter and recently the sixth man for the Flying Eagles. Beckley is scheduled to play in the boys state basketball tournament Thursday evening against Morgantown.

MetroNews’ Fred Persinger spoke with Beckley coach Ron Kidd after a players meeting Monday and Coach Kidd said they’ve decided to play in the state tournament.

“He left it up to the team and the team said this is what the team wanted,” Persinger said.

Morgantown coach Dave Tallman said during an appearance Monday on MetroNews “Talkline” his school’s basketball program is very close to the Beckley program.

“We’ve known Dwayne and that group. They come up to WVU team camp in the summer, we spent a lot of time together. Our staff spend a lot of time together, our players spend a lot of time together,” he said. “This is going to hit hard across the state.”.

The shooting death generated reaction from several state leaders.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito responded during an appearance on “Talkline.”

“It’s just tragic,” Capito said. “A young life gone. I wish the best to his family and his teammates. This senseless violence is heart-breaking.”

Governor Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice, a graduate of Woodrow Wilson, said the shooting death last month of Capital High School senior K.J. Taylor and Monday’s death of Richardson are situations that have to stop. He said mass shootings and the shootings of teenagers have been commonplace.

“We cannot, absolutely, tolerate this kind of tragic events. We just can’t. We’re better than this,” Justice said.

Allard said Beckley detectives are hopeful they can continue to advance the investigation.

“We hope someone will come forward and provide the information that would help us. I personally watched him play basketball. That kind of hits home,” Allard said.

Grief counselors were on hand at Woodrow Wilson High School Monday.

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