BREAKING: Police make arrest in shooting death of Woodrow student

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 5/5/2021 4:15 p.m. UPDATE: Beckley Police make an arrest in connection to the shooting death of Dwayne Richardson, Jr.

Jeriamyah Fortner, 20, was charged with wanton endangerment and voluntary manslaughter. Detectives said Fortner turned himself into police on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

According to Detective David Allard, Richardson was with a group of people Sunday night. Fortner was part of that group and was playing around with an AR-15 rifle. He then pointed it at the rest of group and pulled the trigger, thinking it was unloaded. That is when he allegedly shot and killed Richardson.

Investigators said Richardson was with some “acquaintances” at a home on Terrill Street in Beckley prior to the shooting. Detectives searched that home, where they said they found physical evidence.

Det. Allard said the two other people in the group that night could face charges because they reportedly gave false reports to investigators.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 5/3/2021 4:30 p.m. UPDATE: Just days before his team was headed to the state basketball tournament, Dwayne Richardson Jr. was shot and killed Sunday night. He was a junior at Woodrow Wilson High School, and a player for the Flying Eagles basketball team.

“Got their whole life ahead of them,” said Lt. Dave Allard with the Beckley Police Department.

On Sunday night, EMS crews and police officers were dispatched to the 500 block of Terrill Street in Beckley after reports of a shooting. They were flagged down by a car going the opposite direction.

“The vehicle we learned was transporting the victim to the hospital. At that point EMS takes over and begins providing life saving measures,” said Allard.

Police said Richardson was with his friends when he was shot in the chest. They were rushing him to the hospital when they flagged down police. Richardson was flown to a Charleston hospital, and died from his injuries.

Police said they are still trying to uncover a lot of the details, including the motive and exactly where the shooting took place. 

“We’re investigating the shooting trying to determine exactly where it happened at, what happened, what led to the shooting. Obviously, we have interviewed several people. We will be conducting search warrants today,” Allard said.

Police said they do have a person of interest; however, they are asking for the community’s help to hopefully piece together the events of Sunday night and find out why this high school student was killed.

“A kid that’s doing great things in the community from what I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen and from people reaching out. We would just hope that would spur someone to come forward and provide the information that we need,” Allard said.

Raleigh County Superintendent David Price said they will have grief counselors at the school for his fellow students. He said this month is such an exciting time for high school students, with graduation, sports, and other events, and no student should ever have to go through losing a classmate.

“We have a tragic situation, a loss of a student is just such a tragedy. But we have grief counselors at Woodrow today and Mr. Powell will be meeting with students today as well to discuss the circumstances,” Price said.


The victim’s name from Sunday night’s shooting was released.

Beckley Police identified the victim as 18-year-old Dwayne Richardson Jr.

Raleigh County Schools Superintendent David Price said Richardson Jr. was a Woodrow Wilson High School student who also played for the Flying Eagles basketball team. The tragedy came four days before Woodrow Wilson is set to play Morgantown in the WVSSAC State Boy’s Basketball Tournament.

Dwayne Richardson with his team. Richardson wore number 12.

Investigators told 59News that Richardson’s’ friends were driving him to the to the hospital when they were able to flag down an ambulance, which took him the rest of the way.

Investigators said no arrests have been made, but they are investigating the shooting as a homicide. There is a person of interest, but they aren’t releasing names at this time. Further details are not available.

Stick with 59News as this story continues to develop.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 5/3/2021 6:30 a.m. ORIGINAL STORY: One man is dead after a shooting in Beckley Sunday night, according to investigators.

Beckley Police received reports of a shooting Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 9:24 p.m. It happened on the 500 block of Terrill Street. According to police, a vehicle taking the victim, a 18-year-old man, to the hospital was found shortly afterwards on Fayette Street near Truman Street.

The victim, who had a single gunshot wound, was then taken by EMS to Raleigh General Hospital and later to a Charleston area hospital. Investigators confirmed he died from his injuries.

Police said no arrests are made at this time, but there is a person of interest.

Further information, including the names of the victim and person of interest, are not being released at this time.

Stick with 59News as this story continues to develop.

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