Early morning playground shooting - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Update: Arrest made in playground shooting case

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The Bluefield Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened at East River Playground off North Street in Bluefield, W.Va.

The call came in early Tuesday morning and according to emergency dispatchers one female has been taken to Bluefield Regional Medical Center. Her name and condition are not known at this time. At least two other people were reported to be injured in the incident.  Police said that someone fired a shotgun.

Officers with the Bluefield Police Department arrested Matthew Jackson, 22.  He is charged with Brandishing a Deadly Weapon, three counts of Malicious Wounding and  four counts of Wanton Endangerment.  More arrests could be made.


Bluefield Police said seven people were at the playground, and one other person was in a vehicle with Jackson when he fired the shot-gun just one time even though it managed to hit three people.

"Once it comes out of the barrel, the weapon spreads out a lot farther then he realized. I don't think he actually intended to hit anybody, he was just trying to scare them," said Lt. Myers with Bluefield Police.

He also said he believes it started as an argument over Facebook.

The park is supposed to close when the sun goes down at night, but some neighbors told 59News the entire street is sometimes packed full of cars and young adults hanging out until all hours of the night.

Police said this area of town isn't usually a problem, but one neighbor said after this he will think twice about crime happening so close to home. 

"I've never really felt unsafe in Bluefield, but hearing that last night... is different," said neighbor John Cardwell.

We're told all three victims have been released from the hospital.