The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

November 9, 2013

Raleigh County men arrested in September shooting of two in Rupert

BECKLEY — Area law enforcement officers have charged two Raleigh County men in connection with the Sept. 13 shootings of two “good Samaritans” in Greenbrier County.

Aaron Clemens, 22, of Beckley, and Alonzo Martin, 21, of Beaver, were each charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting Clinton Walker, 22, and Kipton Puffenbarger, 49.

Puffenbarger was shot in the head, and Walker in the leg, after they stopped two men from entering a neighbor’s home in Rupert and then followed the suspects in their vehicle.

Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bruce Sloan said Friday that Martin, Clemens and at least two others knew the woman who lived in the mobile home.

“There was a drug nexus involved in the entire thing,” he said. “There had been previous conversations between (some of) the individuals that were involved in this plot and the person who lived at the residence.”

Puffenbarger and Walker had responded to the targeted resident’s reports that someone was trying to break into her home. They scared two would-be burglars away from the trailer, police said.

When they later spotted a suspicious Pontiac Grand Am, they followed it.

That’s when two occupants of the Grand Am fired paintballs and shot at them.

One of the bullets hit Puffenbarger in the right temple.

When Puffenbarger stopped at a local bank parking lot to allow Walker to assist him, an assailant from the Pontiac fired a shot at Walker, striking his ankle, according to authorities.

The Pontiac then raced off toward Beckley.

It was later discovered abandoned on Irish Mountain in Raleigh County, said Sloan.

Sloan said Greenbrier sheriff’s deputies Carla Solitro and Gideon Tate led the team of  investigators who tracked down Clemens and Martin.

He thanked West Virginia State Police and Beckley Police Department officers for playing a major role in the arrests.

Clemens was arrested around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, and Martin was taken into custody around 4 a.m. Friday.

Sloan said at least two more arrests of male and female suspects are expected to be made in connection with the incident.

—  E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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