POINT PLEASANT — The New Year got off to an eventful start in Mason County after a double shooting on Tuesday sent three people to the hospital.
According to Point Pleasant Police Chief Ernie Watterson, Earl Bonecutter, Jr., age unreported, and Michael Stewart, 20, both of Point Pleasant, were allegedly shot by Franklin Scott Eaves, 22, Point Pleasant. The shooting took place around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Pleasant Valley Apartments on Evergreen Drive.
Watterson said both Bonecutter and Eaves are neighbors, and it appears after an argument ensued, Eaves retrieved a shotgun, went back to Bonecutter’s apartment and allegedly starting shooting, hitting both Bonecutter and Stewart, who was also at the residence. The shooting occurred on the first floor of Bonecutter’s residence, near the back sliding glass doors with Eaves allegedly shooting at the men through those glass doors.
Eaves fled the scene and was later found on the railroad tracks behind a local car wash, “highly intoxicated” and with symptoms of hypothermia, according to Watterson. Eaves was transported to Pleasant Valley Hospital for treatment of hypothermia and upon his release will be charged with two counts of malicious wounding.
Watterson said Bonecutter underwent surgery for a shotgun wound to the stomach and is expected to recover. Stewart was treated for receiving buckshot to his side and arm and is also expected to make a full recovery. Bonecutter and Stewart were also treated at Pleasant Valley Hospital.
Watterson said alcohol appears to have at least played a part in the escalation of the argument, but the reason for that argument remains unclear. Watterson did say this incident does not appear to be drug related.
In West Virginia, malicious wounding is a felony, and if convicted, Eaves could face jail time anywhere from two to 10 years.
In addition to personnel with the Point Pleasant Police Department, the West Virginia State Police and Mason County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene, along with Mason County EMS.