Man charged after giving false report of active shooter in Elkins


ELKINS, W.Va. — A man has been charged after giving a false report of an active shooter in Elkins.

On May 10, deputies with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department “heard a radio call by Elkins Police” indicating there was “an active shooter call on Goff Street,” in Elkins, according to a criminal complaint.

When deputies arrived on scene to assist Elkins Police, they observed an officer “with his full attention directed toward a rust colored home with an open garage door,” and after learning the residence was outside of Elkins city limits, deputies took command, deputies said.

Offender Picture
Joshua Williams

During the investigation, deputies learned that Joshua Williams, 33, of Elkins, “ran out on his porch and yelled to someone across the street that shots were fired,” and when Elkins Police arrived on scene, they found Williams hiding in his garage, according to the complaint.

Elkins Police noticed that Williams “was carrying a 24 inch breaker bar and wood chisel as he approached,” and officers told him to drop the tools and come forward, at which time, Williams said that “his mother and two kids were shot inside the home,” deputies said.

Williams also told Elkins Police that “there was someone bludgeoned in his bathroom,” according to the complaint.

Due to Williams’ story, additional units were called to the scene, as well as SWAT members “who would enter the house quickly because of the reported wounded woman and children inside,” but deputies “cleared the home and could not find any wounded victims,” deputies said.

At that point, Williams “yelled from the cruiser that one of the shooters was inside a Jeep sitting outside a nearby business,” but that report also “turned out to be false as well,” according to the complaint.

Some of Williams’ family members arrived on scene and told deputies that Williams “had been having PTSD issues recently and has also been on meth,” deputies said.

While clearing the residence, deputies found “an AR-15, a hunting rifle, a shotgun and multiple knives strewn all about,” as well as a prescription bottle which contained “a straw and several pills not consistent with the prescription listed on the bottle,” according to the complaint.

Williams has been charged with false reporting of an emergency and possession of a controlled substance. He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

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