Man arrested following deadly shooting in Wayne County, WV

WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WYMT/WSAZ) State police say the suspect in a deadly shooting is claiming self-defense.

Andrew Burgess, 25, of Barboursville was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Police say he shot Thomas Epperly, 40, of Huntington, at the Rich Oil gas station on Waverly Road Saturday night.

They say the two men were strangers and met in the gas station parking lot shortly before 11:45 p.m. when they got into a physical fight.

Burgess then pulled a gun on Epperly and shot him three times in the chest, according to police. Burgess told state troopers he did it out of self defense.

"There was a knife recovered on the scene...we're currently investigating what part it played," said Trooper Willis of the West Virginia State Police.

Trooper Willis says Epperly's girlfriend was with him at the time and watched the entire thing.

"She was very upset, obviously in shock and panicked," he said.

Police say Burgess came to the gas station on a motorcycle and was with two others who were also on bikes. They say those two witnesses are corroborating with his self-defense claim.

Investigators aren't exactly sure how the fight started or where each of the men had been before. But they say it's rare to see a fight between strangers get that serious.


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