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Man shot in head on Charleston’s West Side

Courtesy photo
John Allan Rogers, Jr., 37, of Charleston was found shot to death on the train tracks near the intersection of Madison and Wyoming streets on Charleston's West Side.
Courtesy photo John Allan Rogers, Jr., 37, of Charleston was shot and killed early Saturday morning.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man was found splayed across railroad tracks on Charleston's West Side early Saturday morning with a gunshot wound to the head.

Charleston resident John Allan Rogers Jr., 37, was found dead at about 7 a.m. on the railroad tracks at Madison and Wyoming streets, said Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives for the Charleston Police Department.

Although Rogers' body was found at about 7 a.m., police believe the shooting took place at approximately 1 a.m.

"Neighbors told us there were shots fired around that time," Cooper said.

A few hours later, neighbors heard a separate round of shots, but police say that shooting is not related to the homicide investigation.

Two women were shot with a shotgun and hit with pellet spray, but refused medical treatment. Mike Ginther, 29, was arrested on charges for malicious wounding. The incident is believed to be domestic related.

Rogers had at least one gunshot wound that police could see, but Cooper said it's possible that is not his only wound.

"The body is undergoing autopsy right now, but we believe that he was shot more than once," Cooper said.

Police "have no clue" about a motive in the shooting, Cooper said. "Based on the time of day that this happened, I could make a guess, but it's not always about drugs.

"Sometimes it's domestic or someone breaks into your house and you found out who it was," Cooper said. "It could be anything. At this time, we really don't know."

However, Cooper said Rogers has a history of selling cocaine and previously served time in a federal prison.

"Based on the reaction that we've gotten from people that know him, they aren't surprised something like this happened," the detective said.

This is only the second homicide in Charleston city limits this year. Robert "Bob" Snow, 55, of Charleston, was found in the Elk River in late May. Snow worked as a district manager at 7-Eleven for 15 years, overseeing 10 stores in Kanawha County.

No one has been arrested in connection to Snow's death.

Four people were killed in Charleston in 2011. In 2010, there were 11 slayings, two of which remain unsolved.

Cooper said it's possible that violent crime is receding because of "geographic-specific patrol tactics," that city police have been using to drive the criminal element out of Charleston.

"Certain zones are more active as far as the drug trade goes, so we try to target both drug users and dealers and catch them in the act," Cooper said. Stomping out drugs "could prevent future violent crimes. We keep the drug culture on the run."

Police are sorting through evidence and interviewing possible witnesses to the early morning shooting.

"We're attempting to piece this together," Cooper said.

Anyone with information regarding Rogers' death is asked to call the Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.

Reach Kathryn Gregory at kathryng@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.


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