MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The owner of a towing company who had ongoing beefs in his personal and professional life went on a shooting rampage, carrying out his grudges by killing his ex-girlfriend and two men she had been romantically involved with, as well as the owner of a rival tow truck company.
The shooter, Jody Lee Hunt, killed himself Monday inside a pickup truck in the woods after about a 12-hour manhunt, State Police Lt. Michael Baylous and Monongalia County Sheriff Kenneth “Al” Kisner said Tuesday during a radio interview on West Virginia MetroNews.
There were signs of trouble in Hunt’s personal life late last year. His ex-girlfriend filed a restraining order against him but it ended two weeks later when things apparently improved. In early November, another restraining order was taken out, only it was terminated when the couple started living separately.
In a Facebook post around the time of the shooting rampage, Hunt called his ex-girlfriend the “love of my life” and said his actions were “wrong but in my eyes just.”
The rampage started Monday morning when Hunt appeared to settle a professional grudge. He shot Doug Brady, who owned Doug’s Towing, twice in the head while Brady was working in his garage. For the past couple of months, Hunt had been upset because he said Brady was getting towing jobs illegally, Monongalia County commissioner Tom Bloom said. Hunt had attended county commission meetings and voiced his frustration, Bloom said.
After gunning down Brady, Hunt drove about 20 miles across Morgantown to a home where his ex-girlfriend Sharon Kay Berkshire was with her new boyfriend, Michael David Frum, 28.
Frum was found shot to death inside the home. Berkshire was shot twice and found outside the home, perhaps because she had tried to get away.
Hunt then drove back across town and stopped at his cousin Jody Taylor’s house and killed him, police said. Berkshire had also been romantically involved with Taylor at some point, police said.
Hunt posted on Facebook that he was “deeply hurt” by the events that led up to Monday.
“I did not chose to have the love of my life to go behind my back and sleep with several guys as she came home to lay her head on my shoulder to say goodnight I love you,” he wrote.
In the post, Hunt speaks of vengeance. He said: “My actions were wrong but in my eyes just. So I will leave this world as others did. May your saddened hearts be replaced with hate for me.”
The sheriff and state police lieutenant did not immediately return telephone messages from The Associated Press.
Berkshire filed two restraining orders in Monongalia County against Hunt. The first was Dec. 27 and terminated about two weeks later because there was “a wish to work on problems,” according to documents.
A second restraining order Oct. 26 ended about two weeks later because Berkshire and Hunt were “living separate” and they had a property agreement that made the restraining order unnecessary.
Hunt owned J&J Towing and Repair LLC. His business was located less than a quarter mile from Brady’s company.
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