UPDATE: WVU Police release additional information on fatal shooting of WVU student; 2 men charged with murder

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UPDATE (3/2/2020 10:35 a.m.)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Police Department has released additional information on the murder of a WVU student that occurred at College Park apartments in Morgantown on Friday morning.

Terrell Linear

The criminal complaint filed by WVU Police stated that Terrell Linear, 21 and Shaundarius Reeder, 20, both of Fairmont shot and killed Eric James Smith, 21, of Clementon, New Jersey at College Park apartments Friday morning following a physical altercation.

The complaint stated that when officers arrived on scene for a shots fired call, they found Smith laying in the hallway of the apartment building unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds. The Medical Examiner determined that the victim was dead, according to the complaint.

Police said that through the investigation, it was determined that Smith and several other individuals had arrived at College Park in a dark Toyota Camry and Smith and two males, who were later identified as Linear and Reeder, got into a physical altercation in the parking lot. Officers said Smith went inside of the College Park apartments and was followed inside by Linear and Reeder. Police stated Linear and Reeder then exited the apartment building a short time later, got into the Camry with the driver of the vehicle and left the scene.

Shaundarius Reeder

The complaint stated that Linear and Reeder asked the driver to take them to Fairmont, but the driver felt uncomfortable doing so and called a friend who was on the scene of the shooting. Police said the phone was given to law enforcement, who determined that Linear, Reeder and the driver were at Walmart at the University Town Center.

Given this information, officers with the Granville Police Department responded to Walmart and came into contact with Linear and Reeder while they were exiting the store, according to the complaint. Officers said Linear and Reeder were detained and it was determined that Reeder possessed a pink 9mm Luger pistol.

Police said that during a post-Mirandized interview, Linear stated that after the physical altercation with Smith, he went to the Camry and retrieved two firearms that were his. The complaint stated that Linear said he gave a pink gun that he had bought for his fiancé to Reeder.

Video surveillance inside of the apartment building shows Linear and Reeder entering the building, leaving, then entering the building again.

Linear and Reeder have each been charged and arraigned on one count of first degree murder. They are currently being held at North Central Regional Jail with no bond.


UPDATE (2/28/2020 3:34 p.m.)

Two Fairmont men were arraigned in Monongalia County Court on first degree murder charges in the fatal shooting of a WVU student at College Park apartments early Friday morning.

A circuit court judge decided both Terrell Linear, 21, and Shaundarius Reeder, 20, will not receive a bond. Both men have their preliminary hearings scheduled for March 9, and both are going to take a court appointed attorney.

Shaundarius Reeder (left) & Terrell Linear (right) being arraigned in Monongalia County Court Friday afternoon

UPDATE (2/28/2020 1:05 p.m.)

Two Fairmont men have been charged in the shooting that resulted in the death of a 21-year-old WVU student at College Park apartments in Morgantown on Friday morning, according to WVU officials.

University officials said Terrell Linear, 21; and Shaundarius Reeder, 20 have each been charged with first degree murder. WVU officials said Linear and Reeder are not WVU students.

The pair are expected to be arraigned in Monongalia County Court Friday afternoon.


UPDATE (2/28/2020 12:10 p.m.)

West Virginia University has issued a news release with additional details on the shooting incident that occurred early Friday morning at the university-run apartment complex, College Park, that resulted in the death of a WVU student.

The release stated that the victim, Eric James Smith, 21, of Clementon, New Jersey was a sophomore student and a former resident of the College Park Apartments where the shooting occurred.

The two suspects in the shooting who were arrested at the University Town Center Walmart shortly after the shooting occurred are expected to be arraigned at Monongalia County Magistrate Court Friday afternoon, according to WVU officials.

The release stated that West Virginia University Police Chief W.P. Chedester said the investigation is in the early stages and while the shooting was an isolated incident, the motive is unknown at this time. Chief Chedester also said that WVU Police were called to the scene to investigate reports of gunshots at approximately 4 a.m., found Smith in a hallway outside one of the College Park apartments, according to the release. Additionally, Chedester stated that a weapon was found during the arrest of the two suspects at Walmart.

“Multiple agencies responded to support our department at the scene,” Chedester said. “We appreciate their cooperation and assistance as our investigation continues.”

The release stated that any person with any information on the fatal shooting is being asked to contact police at 304-293-3136 as the investigation continues.

“It’s always a tragedy when a young person loses his life,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said. “Our hearts go out to his family, those students and others who knew him. Our main priority right now is offering support to our campus community,” he said.

The release also stated counselors from WVU’s Carruth Center were on site at College Park this morning to provide assistance to residents or others on scene. University officials said they would like to remind students to always remain aware of their surroundings, walk in well-lit areas and consider other personal safety tips, advice and services located online here.

12 News spoke with residents of College Park apartments about the incident.

“It happened in the building that I live in. Oh wow, I just kind of have to be more aware of what’s going on because you never know. This is a pretty safe apartment complex, I’m fine, I feel like the surrounding areas are worse but it’s definitely kind of scary,” said Hunter Hoffman, a junior at WVU and a resident of the complex.

Stay with 12 News for any additional updates.

UPDATE (2/28/2020 11:25 a.m.)

West Virginia University has confirmed that the man who was killed as a result of the shooting at College Park near WVU’s downtown campus was a student at the university.

University officials said the victim has been identified as Eric James Smith, 21, of Clementon, New Jersey. WVU officials said James was sophomore majoring in multidisciplinary studies.


UPDATE (2/28/2020 9:20 a.m.)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – (WOWK/WBOY) – The two individuals who police said were involved in a shots fired incident near West Virginia University’s campus were arrested at Walmart in Morgantown, according to a press release from the Granville Police Department.

The release stated that on Friday at approximately 4:15 a.m., multiple police agencies, including the Granville Police Department, were dispatched to Walmart at 5605 University Town Center Drive to assist in the apprehension of two suspects. Police said the suspects were involved in a shooting incident at College Park, an apartment living area east of WVU’s main campus, early Friday morning.

College Park is a public/private entity and is a separate campus property that is removed from the main downtown campus, according to WVU University Relations.

Officers said both suspects were arrested without incident. The release stated that no additional information about this incident will be released by the Granville Police Department at this time.

Officers with the Granville Police Department said that WVU Police is leading the investigation and the Granville Police Department provided assistance.

There is no word on the identities of the suspects or any victims involved in this incident, however, College Park’s website states that residents of the apartment complex must be students.


UPDATE (2/28/2020 7:37 a.m.)

One person is dead, and two suspects are in custody, according to University Police, after an early morning shooting at an apartment complex near West Virginia University’s downtown Morgantown campus. 

“Multiple agencies responded to support our department at the scene,” said UPD Chief W.P. Chedester. “We appreciate their cooperation and assistance as our investigation continues.” 

The medical examiner has been called. University Police is not releasing additional information at this time as its investigation is ongoing.

Counselors from WVU’s Carruth Center are onsite at College Park to provide support for residents.

College Park is part of the apartment living area east of the main campus.


ORIGINAL (2/28/2020 5:49 a.m.)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – According to WVU’s campus alert system, University Police are investigating a shots fired incident near campus.

According to WVU Alert, the scene is now clear.

The system posted an alert at about 4:00 a.m. regarding a shots fired incident near Building 20 at College Park.

Authorities say it is safe to resume normal activities.

There is no word yet on any injuries at this time.

Police are asking for help from the public if they have any information, and if so, to contact University Police at 304- 293-3136.

Stay with 12 News for the latest on this developing situation.

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