CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – North central West Virginia is buzzing with the news of a shootout and manhunt that started in Harrison County and ended in Marion County, Thursday evening. Thanks to law enforcement, the three suspects are in custody, and, other than one of the suspects who was shot by police, no one else was injured.
The updates and hearsay of the event make it a little difficult to understand exactly what happened. Here is a timeline of what has been confirmed, so far, by law enforcement.
Just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Clarksburg Police Department began a pursuit of three people in a van on US Route 50 in Clarksburg. Harrison County Sheriff Robert Matheny told 12 News that the pursuit started as a result of a shoplifting incident at the Clarksburg Walmart. Only a minute into the pursuit, the suspect started shooting at the police cruiser, according to a criminal complaint.
The pursuit continued onto Center Street, Benedum Drive and across Route 131. At this point, the passengers opened the back doors of the van and began throwing chairs and other objects at the officers.
The van headed to Bridgeport where the three suspects fired shots at law enforcement. They then got onto Interstate 79 north.
Just before 6:30 p.m., the trio arrived in the Fairmont area; they were still firing at the pursuing officers, according to a criminal complaint. After exiting I-79 at exit 132 and reentering the highway, the van stopped near the Kingmont Road exit.
Two Harrison County Sheriff’s Department cruisers arrives at the scene of the van, and the suspects continued to shoot; both vehicles were damaged. Shots were fired at two Harrison County deputies.
During this time, the suspects started a fire inside the van and then hopped the guardrail and ran on foot. The van was later confirmed to be stolen from Greenville, South Carolina and brought to West Virginia by the driver and passengers. It was taken into evidence but sustained extensive damage from the fire, according to a criminal complaint.
The smoking van can be seen in this video sent to 12 News by a viewer.
West Virginia 511 began reporting that all of Interstate 79 was shut down due to heavy police presence at 6:38 p.m. Nearby East Fairmont High School was also on a precautionary lockdown due to the situation.
From 7 to 9 p.m., multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies from across the area continued the manhunt for the three suspects. During that time, one of them, now identified as 25-year-old Luis Lebron, was shot by a Harrison County deputy. Lebron was flown by HealthNet to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for treatment.
About an hour after the road was closed, at 8:34 p.m., West Virginia 511 reported that one lane of each direction of Interstate 79 was open again. Police presence stayed high throughout the whole area with a police cruiser parked every few hundred feet along the interstate near the Kingmont Road exit. K9 units were also used in the search for the two remaining suspects, who were later identified as 26-year-old Wilber Chicas and 20-year-old Jeroenne Carballo.
The last of the three suspects was apprehended around 9:30 p.m. in Palatine Park, which is about four miles away from where the foot chase began, near the Kingmont Road exit. Law enforcement pulled him from the Monongahela River.
12 News was on the scene and captured exclusive footage of the final suspect being pulled from the river.
Since the manhunt, the two uninjured suspects, Chicas and Carballo, were arraigned in Marion County Magistrate Court and are being held on bail of $1,000,012 each. They are each facing multiple felonies, including two counts of attempted murder and one count of grand larceny, presentation of a firearm during the commission of a felony and third-degree arson.
The suspect who was shot, Lebron, is still in the hospital but will receive the same charges and bail after he is released.
Stay with 12 News for further updates as they become available.