The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

November 19, 2012

Drug connection suspected in shooting, home invasion


Register-Herald Reporter

— A Detroit man was shot and another injured during an early Thursday morning home robbery in Minden, police said.

It’s the second similar home invasion at the same residence within a year, and Fayette County authorities say they think drug trafficking could be a factor and that the same perpetrators are involved.

Around 1 a.m. Thursday, at least three individuals, at least one of whom had a handgun, forced entry into the Minden home; confronted those inside; shot one man and hit another in the head with a gun; stole an undisclosed amount of money and all the victims’ cell phones, then fled the residence, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler says.

Jorail Giddings, 21, of Detroit, was shot during the invasion. Giddings was transported to Plateau Medical Center at Oak Hill and was then transferred to the Charleston Area Medical Center, where he is reported to be in stable condition,” Kessler said.

The second injured person, Christopher Andrew Jackson, 23, also of Detroit, was allegedly struck in the head with a handgun. Jackson was treated at Plateau Medical Center and later released.

There was also a third Detroit person visiting the Minden residence; however, that individual was not injured, nor were any other people in the home, including three children.

All three suspects were reported as black males wearing masks. A physical description of one is “tall, skinny and light-skinned,” and a description of another is “short and chubby.” A description of the third male was not provided, police say.

Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated a home invasion robbery at the same residence on Jan. 18. Kessler said several of the victims of that incident were from outside of the area, and the male suspects took cash and cell phones.

Investigators think the two separate incidents were committed by the same people and that both crimes are related to drugs, Kessler said.

“When two home invasion-style robberies are conducted at the same residence, and visitors from out of the area are present on both occasions, it certainly would seem to be drug-related,” Kessler commented. “It’s possible that the suspects in each incident merely assumed that someone visiting from out-of-state would have drugs with them, but that’s a little hard to believe.”

The incident remains under investigation by the Detective Bureau of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 304-574-4305, the Fayette County 911 Center at 304-574-3590 or Crime Stoppers at 304-255-7867. Tips may also be submitted online through the Crime Tips section of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office website fayettesheriffwv.net.

— E-mail: chiggins@register-herald.com