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Police seek motive after two men fatally shot in West Side home

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston police have not yet said why Patrick Price entered Michael Cassell's West Side home Sunday night with the intentions of killing the man.

However, officers believe they have a motive in the shooting that occurred in the 900 block of Red Oak Street Sunday about 9:30 p.m., said Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives.

The motive on the shooting should be released in the very near future.

Although police have yet to release the motive, Cooper said the pair knew each other.

"This was definitely not a random shooting," he said. "The suspect targeted the victim for a specific reason."

Price, 36, of Randolph Street, entered Cassell's home on Red Oak Street while Cassell's wife and 11-year-old child were at home, Cooper said. Price then shot Cassell, 34, multiple times with a handgun, killing him instantly.

Price then allegedly turned the gun on himself. Both he and Cassell where dead when officers arrived at the scene, Cooper said.

Cassell's wife and child were not injured during the shooting.

"They fled the scene when the shots were fired," Cooper said.

Cassell's wife called 911 to report the shooting after fleeing the scene, he said. Officers found Cassell's body in a bedroom in the house, Cooper said. 

The investigation into the shooting continues and officers are still trying to piece together exactly how the two men knew each other.

"We'll have a completed picture very soon," Cooper said.

Murder/suicides are not uncommon in the city, but they typically involve a domestic dispute, Cooper said.

Price allegedly entered the residence uninvited in what Cooper termed as a "home-invasion" style entry.

However, there was no evidence of a forced entry at the home, he added.

Officers are familiar with Price and have dealt with him in the past, Cooper said.

Price's criminal records stretches back several years and includes arrests for felony counts of malicious wounding, breaking and entering and receiving/transferring stolen property.

However, Price was never convicted of a felony, and was therefore permitted to own a firearm, Cooper said.

Price was arrested in Oct. 2002, on a charge of malicious wounding. The case was dismissed, according to records available at the Circuit Court Clerk's office.

He was also arrested in Jan. 1997, for breaking and entering. This case was also dismissed, according to the Circuit Court Clerk's records.

The section of Red Oak Street where the shooting occurred is normally a quiet neighborhood, Cooper said. Seldom do officers respond to violent crimes in that portion of Red Oak, he said. However, violent crimes do occur further up Red Oak Street in the 1500 and 1600 blocks, he said.

 


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