The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

April 3, 2013

Altercation leads to shooting death in Fayette County

Suspect in custody

One man is dead and another is in custody after a fight between two neighbors in a Fayette County mobile home park, Sheriff Steve Kessler says.

Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, the Fayette County 911 center was notified of a shooting at the Mountainair Mobile Home Park in Glen Jean. When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found Gary Wayne Smith, 22, lying in a mobile home suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso.

Smith was transported to Plateau Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. His body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for autopsy.

Shortly after deputies arrived at the scene, Matthew Paul Gravley, 29, walked out of another residence holding a handgun, which he dropped when instructed to do so by officers. Gravley has been charged with murder and is being held in Southern Regional Jail

Kessler said that a preliminary investigation into the shooting indicates that Smith and Gravely were neighbors in the mobile home park and the shooting happened after a “physical altercation” between the two men. Kessler also said that investigators think Gravley fired at least two shots and one struck Smith.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Detective Bureau. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the bureau at 304-574-4216. Tips may also be submitted online through the Crime Tips section of the sheriff’s office website,, or on Facebook at “Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.”

— Carra Higgins

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