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Double shooting began with a bump in a convenience store

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A vicious double shooting in Charleston seemed to begin as a simple matter of etiquette.

"Mr. Collins accidentally bumps into the victim, the victim makes a comment about it, Mr. Collins then turns and puts a gun to his face and pulls the trigger."

And with that, 23-year-old Joshua Lawson was critically injured, said Charleston Lt. Steve Cooper.

"We don't know of a motive and based on the video there doesn't appear to be a motive, other than just a lack of respect for human life," continued Cooper, chief of detectives.

The rampage early Saturday morning at the 7-Eleven on Washington Street West continued as 22-year-old Patrick Moore Jr. tried to intervene by stepping between the two men.

"Mr. Collins chased him down and also shot him in the face," Cooper said. "He then picked up a bottle of water and strolled out of the store as if nothing had happened."

The victims were taken to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital with critical injuries. Moore was in stable but critical condition at CAMC General on Sunday, but Lawson was flown to a hospital in Morgantown where he remained in grave condition, Cooper said.

Surveillance video from the store reviewed by detectives indicated the men involved did not know each other.

Antonio Collins, 32, of Charleston was arrested Saturday evening in Columbus, Ohio, by a U.S. Marshal task force.

Officers started searching Charleston for Collins, also known as "Shake," after Lawson and Moore were shot about 3:15 a.m. Saturday.

Cooper said Collins had help from friends in traveling to Columbus. He said Collins is associated with other violent criminals who also are known to police.

"I'm sure that they aren't surprised to hear that they are also under investigation and we are watching them as well," Cooper said.

He said officers received information on Collins' whereabouts Saturday while searching for him. They passed that information on to the U.S. Marshals Office. 

"We can't say specifically what we know about his reason for going to Columbus other than clearly part of that was to flee apprehension, to hide," Cooper said. "It's not uncommon after a major violent crime is committed for the perpetrator to leave the area, and Columbus is a popular destination for those on the run from Charleston."

Cooper said the federal marshals assisted in the search because of the violent nature of the crime, the extreme danger presented to the public and because Collins was previously convicted on federal charges.

Authorities working with the U.S. Marshal's Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST) were able to find and arrest Collins quickly, Cooper said.

Collins is being held in Columbus until he can be extradited back to Charleston, where he will face two counts of attempted murder.


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