Names released in double shooting

Published 10:21 am Friday, September 4, 2009

FAYETTE TOWNSHIP — A man and a woman are dead following a double shooting Thursday afternoon near the intersection of State Route 243 and County Road 55 in Fayette Township.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said Christopher Paul Harless, 25 of Huntington, W.Va. was pronounced dead at the scene by Lawrence County Coroner, Dr. Kurt Hofmann; he had one gunshot wound to the head.

Mary Dawn Crockett, 24 also of Huntington, was taken by Healthnet helicopter to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., where she died a few hours later.

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“At 12:17 p.m. we received a call of a possible shooting,” Lawless said. “Upon arrival we found a black truck in the creek with a white male and a white female. The male was somewhat out of the vehicle.”

Lawless said the shooting appears to be domestic in nature and said the two people were in a relationship.

The investigation revealed the two had been in a recent domestic disturbance in Huntington that lead to Crockett obtaining a protection order in Cabell County, however she had dropped the protection order Wednesday.

The investigation revealed Crockett left work Thursday for lunch and met Harless at a Huntington gas station. The two drove away together.

It was discovered during the investigation, Lawless said, that Harless owned a .45 caliber handgun that was missing from his parents residence.

Lawless said it is unclear at this time which of the two was responsible for shooting the other and then committing suicide.

Gene Baisden, who owns the field where the helicopter landed, said he was home at the time of the incident but was unaware of what had happened.

“I did hear two gunshots but I thought it was up the holler,” he said.

Carl Stevens lives in the area as well.

“All I heard was the sirens and came out (to see what had happened),” Stevens said.

Lawless said the matter remains under investigation. No information is yet available about a motive or who fired the shots.

The Ohio Highway Patrol, South East Ohio Emergency Medical Services and Fayette Township Volunteer Fire Department aided the sheriff’s office at the scene.