Cops and Courts

One dead in early morning shooting – suspect in custody

A Pennsylvania man is in custody and being charged with first-degree murder after a Morgantown police officer witnessed him fire several rounds into the back seat of a vehicle parked in downtown Morgantown Sunday morning, killing one man and injuring a woman in the vehicle.

Morgantown Police Department officials stated in a press release that after a brief foot chase, officers were able to apprehend the suspect identified as Eric Alastaire Sneed, 34, of Sharpsville, Pa.  

According to a criminal complaint filed by MPD Detective Stallings, a patrol officer was driving on High Street at Walnut Street at approximately 3:07 a.m. Sunday, when he saw a man, later identified as Sneed, “fire several rounds from a firearm on Walnut Street and then run east on Walnut Street.”

Video footage recovered by detectives also showed Sneed, on Walnut Street, firing a handgun into a white Ford Taurus at close range. The car was parked on Walnut Street between Spruce and High streets.

A male and female victim said to be seated in the back seat of the car suffered gunshot wounds.  The driver of the vehicle drove away from the scene and directly to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, where the male victim, identified as Marcelius Likely, 34, was pronounced dead. 

MPD officials said Monday they were unable to release the name of the female victim or the extent of her injuries – only that she was still being treated for those injuries.

According to MPD, Sneed approached the parked vehicle from behind and after firing several shots, ran to Spruce Street.  A brief foot chase ensued with several officers assigned to a downtown foot patrol detail and others who were also on patrol in the area.

Officers followed Sneed onto Wall Street then back to High Street, where he was stopped and held him at gunpoint, the complaint said.

Despite the officers, Sneed continued his retreat, fleeing back to Walnut Street where an officer saw him toss a black object near some garbage cans.

The object was “found to be a Springfield XD 45 caliber handgun,” the complaint said.  Investigators believe this was the gun used in the shooting.

The chase continued and officers were ultimately able to take Sneed into custody near the city parking garage on Chestnut Street.

Sneed was charged with one count of first-degree murder and is currently being held without bond at North Central Regional Jail.

MPD officials said they are unable to comment on any additional details or a possible motive for the shooting at this stage of the investigation.  Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Detective Division at 304-284-7454.