CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A 15-year-old male is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the face during an apparent shootout on Charleston's West Side Monday evening.
Multiple shots were fired around 5:30 p.m., some apparently in an alley off of the 400 block of Maryland Avenue between Wyoming and Roane streets. There was blood on the front steps of an apartment building across the street.
Sgt. Eric Hodges with the Charleston Police Department Criminal Investigation Division said two men had been shot in the alley that runs west from the 400 block of Maryland Avenue.
The 15-year-old male victim was in critical condition at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital as of 11 p.m. Monday night.
The second victim, a 28-year-old male, also of Charleston, received a gunshot wound to his left calf and a graze-type wound to his right ankle, both of which are considered non-life threatening.
Police believe there were at least two people firing shots during the incident, but did not have any suspects identified Monday night. Police have not yet identified a motive for the shooting.
A neighborhood resident, who asked not to be identified, said she had been watching television when the shooting began.
"All of a sudden I heard 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.' I looked over there," she said, gesturing toward the bloody steps, "and blood was coming out of [a man with a gunshot wound]."
Using yellow police tape, officers had cordoned off most of the 400 block of Maryland Avenue. As a soft rain began to fall, crime scene investigators began photographing the scene and searching for evidence.
Around 7:30 p.m., officers on scene asked the Charleston Fire Department to "hose down" the area where the shooting had taken place.
Last summer, as the West Side saw a spike in gun violence, including six homicides in the first seven months of 2010, the city temporarily had extra undercover officers from the Special Enforcement Unit patrol the area in uniform. Police said a fatal shooting last month on nearby Central Avenue was accidental, and the dead man appeared to have shot himself.
Police are continuing to investigate and asked anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.
Reach Andrew Clevenger at acleven...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.