Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ranson, WV: Woman shot, killed in Ranson; suspect caught

Police say shooting was domestic dispute

July 16, 2011
By Matt Armstrong - Journal Staff Writer ( ,
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RANSON - An afternoon shooting at Southern States in Ranson killed a 36-year-old woman, and the victim's ex-boyfriend has been charged with first-degree murder, officials said.

Jenny Perrine, a Martinsburg resident originally from Webster Springs, was identified as the victim and pronounced dead at the scene, said Ranson Police Chief William Roper in a phone interview Friday evening after the victim's family was notified.

Ray Cook, a 37-year-old Harpers Ferry resident, was arrested and charged, Roper said.

"An ex-boyfriend and girlfriend made arrangements to meet here at Southern States to do some exchange of some properties," Roper said at the scene Friday afternoon. "When they met here, the ex-boyfriend had opened fire with an automatic weapon onto the victim, killing her here in the parking lot. The suspect was apprehended here at the parking lot by the Ranson and Charles Town police departments and he's being detained and questioned at this time."

Law enforcement officers responded to a reported shooting at the store shortly after 2 p.m. Friday.

The victim was shot while sitting in what is believed to have been her automobile, and the suspect and victim were only a short distance from each other when the shooting occurred, Roper said.

The Ranson Police Department was the agency in charge on the scene, and the Southern States store is located at 222 N. Mildred St., Ranson.

The suspect did not resist arrest when officers arrived on scene, and he did not injure or approach anyone else in the area between the time of the shooting and his arrest, police said.

The weapon used in the shooting was a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, and officers are working to determine how many shots were fired, Roper added.

Gunshot wounds were determined to be the cause of death, and the victim's body will be taken to Charleston for an autopsy Saturday, Roper said.

A witness who arrived on the scene as police were first arriving said the driver's side door of the victim's car was closed, and when police opened it, he could see a body slumped over to the side, with blood stains on the clothes. The car was sitting at an angle in the middle of the parking lot.

Law enforcement officers from the RPD, West Virginia State Police Charles Town Detachment, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the Charles Town and Harpers Ferry police departments, as well as fire and emergency medical services personnel, also responded to the scene.

Homicides are a rare tragedy in Ranson, with the last homicide before Friday taking place more than a decade ago, Roper said.

"We haven't had a homicide since 1998," he said.

After police arrested Cook and continued their investigation, a number of spectators gathered in the area.

Several bystanders who did not wish to be named said they live only a few blocks from the scene but they did not hear the gunshots. One bystander said she heard about the shooting through the social networking website Facebook, while another bystander, a stylist at a nearby salon, said she heard about the incident while at work.

- Staff writer Matt Armstrong can be reached at 304-725-6581 or

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