National News

Deaths of Granville County couple linked to shootout on W. Va. highway

Posted January 1, 2015
Updated January 2, 2015

— Law enforcement officers in Texas, North Carolina and West Virginia are collaborating to find the ties that link the deaths of a Granville County couple and a shootout Thursday on a West Virginia highway.

Granville County Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins Jr. said Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife Dora, 62, were at their home near Oak Hill when two men burst in around 7 a.m., set their house on fire and took the couple and their pickup truck.

Wilkins said he has not been able to determine why the two men chose to target Faulkner home.

Later in the afternoon, outside Lewisburg, W. Va., two local police officers noticed a white Chevrolet SUV with North Carolina plates that has been reported stolen. When they attempted to pull that vehicle over, a red Chevy pickup stopped nearby, according to West Virginia state police.

The driver of the truck opened fire on officers, hitting them both, but was injured when the officers returned fire, troopers said.

 The two Lewisburg officers and the shooter were being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, said Donna Hinkle, administrator of the Greenbrier County 911 center.

The driver of the SUV left the scene, but eventually surrendered to law enforcement without further incident.

When officers searched the vehicles, they found the bodies of the Faulkners under a mattress in the bed of the truck. Wilkins said he didn't know if the couple was killed in the initial attack or sometime later.

Interstate 64 near Lewisburg remained closed after 10 p.m. Thursday while the investigation continued, and Wilkins said he was headed to West Virginia Friday to aid in that investigation.

State police in West Virginia said the two suspects are from Texas. The men identified themselves as father and son, but their names had not been verified late Thursday night.

Both men will be arrested for malicious assault and attempted murder of a police officer in Greenbrier County.

Wilkins said the Faulkners were well known in the community and had two sons who also live in Granville County.


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