Community mourns loss of four teens

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2005

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - More than a thousand people lit up the evening with candles Monday but it was a rainbow that illuminated the sky.

The community came out in droves Monday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of four teenagers shot and killed early Sunday morning on the front lawn of an apartment where one of the victims, 19-year-old Dante Ward, lived.

The others killed were Eddrick Clark, 18, of South Point; Michael Dillon, 17, of Huntington; and Megan Poston, 16, of Barboursville.

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Police have said that Ward may have been the intended target and the others were shot to cover up the crime.

''The information indicates that Dante Ward may have been the intended target and the other three victims were slain to prevent them from identifying the shooter or shooters,'' Huntington police Capt. Steve Hall said.

No arrests have been made and police said they have still not established a motive.

Nine people were questioned Monday, and Hall said police were following up on a ''strong theory'' that several men from the Detroit area may have been involved in the shooting. Five of the nine questioned were from Detroit. Police released a man and a woman after determining they were not involved.

''We may have the shooter in custody,'' Hall said. ''They are being interviewed, they're being interrogated. I'm not saying we do or we don't. We just don't know.''

Poston was Dillon's date to his Huntington High School prom Saturday night. Cabell County schools Superintendent William Smith said Clark did not attend the Huntington prom.

Ward graduated from Huntington High in 2003 and also did not attend the prom, Smith said.

A neighbor said he and his daughter were awakened by gunshots and the pleas of a girl begging for her life.

''There was a burst of gunfire, and then there was a small pause, and that's when I heard the girl say, 'Please don't kill me, I'm sorry,''' Michael Thomas said. ''And I heard two more gunshots.''

Dillon's father, Garry Dillon, said he had no idea why his son and Poston were at Ward's house.

''I just hope the police get the monster that did this to those babies,'' he said.

Clark moved from Cincinnati this year and was a senior at South Point. George York, principal of South Point High School, called Clark ''a wonderful guy.'' Clark would have graduated next Sunday.

''He wanted to be a recording artist. He loved rap music,'' York said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.