Sheriff: 19-year-old fired up to 30 shots during Jefferson break-in
A 19-year-old faces numerous charges, including attempted murder, after police say he fired dozens of shots during a break-in at a Jefferson County home early Tuesday.
Devin M. Collins, of Charles Town, is charged with three counts of attempted murder, eight counts of wanton endangerment, one count of burglary, and one count of use or possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Collins was armed when he broke into a house in Uvilla Estates at about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday.
According to Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty, Collins fired a total of up to 30 shots during the incident, which began with him shooting into the home to gain entry. Dougherty said Collins was using a “high-powered automatic rifle” as he entered the home.
“He had some relationship with a woman that lived in the house. Apparently, it was a failed relationship,” Dougherty said. “Quite frankly, I’m not sure what he went there to do. But he went very heavily armed.”
Dougherty said several of the shots struck an oval-shaped couch, on which another woman was sleeping.
“He was hitting the side opposite the side that she was on,” the sheriff said. “With the high-powered rifle, it would have done a lot of damage.”
Once inside, Collins allegedly chased three of the home’s eight occupants into an upstairs bedroom.
“He saw the woman we believe he had a relationship with and two other women going up the stairs,” Dougherty said. “He was chasing them with his gun – it looks like most of the other people hid when they heard the shots.”
The occupants were able to lock themselves inside the bedroom, but Dougherty said Collins fired “at least a dozen” times into the locked door. According to police, Collins was able to gain entry into the room, where a fight ensued and he lost his weapon before retreating from the home.
“(The women) did what we tell people to do when you can’t run, you can’t hide,” Dougherty said. “They started throwing and hitting when he came through the door. They managed to knock him down and he lost control of the gun.”
Collins was met outside by sheriff’s deputies, and he surrendered without further incident. Dougherty said he was also found to have a knife and brass knuckles on his person, and that a search of the area revealed Collins had placed a sawed-off shotgun and a large quantity of ammunition outside the house.
A Shepherdstown Police Department officer assisted in the arrest.
Collins was taken to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, where we was questioned before being taken to Eastern Regional Jail.
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the case, and additional search warrants are expected to prepared and executed. Dougherty said Collins’ car, which was parked at a nearby church, was towed from the scene. Social media is also expected to play a part in the investigation, Dougherty said. At this point, no additional suspects are expected.