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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Police Investigate Possible Drug Connection to West Virginia Shootings

Aired August 19, 2003 - 19:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We now focus on news back here in the states. CNN has learned of new leads in the probe of three sniper killings that have killed residents of a small Appalachian city, living in constant fear.
Jeanne Meserve has the latest from Charleston, West Virginia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On bicycle, investigators made the rounds of Campbell's Creek, where one victim lived and was shot, where another victim grew up. Some of the locals believe the shootings are linked to the area drug trade.

CHIEF PHIL MORRIS, KANAWHA COUNTY SHERIFFS: In this area, there's a lot of drugs that have been bought and sold. And the public here is concerned.

MESERVE (on camera): What kind of drugs are we talking about?

MORRIS: Methamphetamine.

MESERVE (voice-over): Law enforcement won't say whether they have linked any of the victims to drugs.

Okey Meadows, the victim who grew up in Campbell's Creek, had nothing to do with them, according to his grandfather.

KENNETH TIRSLEY, VICTIM'S GRANDFATHER: My grandson was a good boy. Never did drugs, never drank and never smoked. And went to church.

MESERVE: The third shooting took place in the city of Charleston. And the victim there had no known connection to Campbell's Creek. The locals say there is an active drug trade in this area, too, and suspect that the phones at which Gary Carrier were shot are sometimes used for drug deals.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE: Investigators say they're following up on ten good leads, one of them the possible drug connection. But some people close to the case believe the real key to cracking it will be finding that dark truck that was spotted at one of the shooting scenes. No progress reported on that front.

Daryn, back to you.

KAGAN: Jeanne Meserve in Charleston, West Virginia. Thank you for that.

And speaking of that truck that Jeanne was mentioning, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has pictures of the kind of truck that investigators in West Virginia are looking for.

Here is a look right there from their Web site. You can see it yourself. Just go online to www.atf.gov. If you think you've seen the vehicle -- and perhaps we can scroll it back -- there you go -- or if you have any information about the vehicle or the case, you are urged to call the tip line, and you see the tip number up there on the screen: 1-866-989-2824.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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