Suspect Charged In Conway, NH Triple Murder

11:43 AM, Jul 4, 2007   |    comments
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Woodbury was taken into custody Tuesday morning because his appearance was "consistent" with the description of a young man who fatally shot three people in an Army-Navy store in Conway Monday morning, Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Karen Huntress said at a briefing Tuesday afternoon. At that time, Huntress said Woodbury had not been charged in the case. He is also wanted on an outstanding warrant for robbery in South Carolina. "We are going to continue our investigation without releasing specifics," she said. "We feel this threat to the public has dissipated. However, the reason for that, we're not commenting on at this time." The drama began shortly before 10 a.m. Monday at the Army Barracks, an outdoors gear store on Route 16 in Conway, about 10 miles west of Fryeburg. Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and seeing a fleeing suspect wearing a light shirt and camouflage shorts. Police have not commented on a possible motive, but a message posted on the store Web site Tuesday said the deaths came "in what appears to be a robbery." Someone reported Woodbury to police after seeing him walking on railroad tracks Tuesday morning in Fryeburg. Brian Skelding, the owner of Pawsitively Pet Supply, said he saw police arrest a man wearing a dark shirt and camouflage shorts outside the old Northland Shoe Building. He said Conway police arrived soon afterward. The victims were identified as James Walker, 34, the store manager; William Jones, 25, of Walpole, Mass., and Gary Jones, 23, of Plymouth, Mass. The Joneses were not related. Walker, who lived in Denmark, Maine, south of Fryeburg, left a wife and two young children. He and William Jones were found dead at the scene. Gary Jones died Monday night at Maine Medical Center in Portland. Kristi Riley of Fryeburg is Walker's ex-wife. She declined to be interviewed by The Associated Press on Tuesday, but told The Boston Globe the children are a 1-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl. "My daughter is trying to deal with her daddy being gone," said Riley, who said Walker coached their daughter's softball team. "He was a really good father," she said. "He was a fun-loving man. He did everything he could to be a good dad." Ken Jones, the brother of William Jones, told the Boston Herald that William and Gary Jones were friends returning from a camping trip in Maine when they were shot. "They were in (the store) just shopping. It was that random," Ken Jones said. Army Barracks, based in Salem, Mass., said in a posting on its Web site that Walker was fatally shot "in what appears to be a robbery." He was the manager of the Conway store for the past seven years. At the height of the manhunt Monday, a small army of police searched a large area of Conway for the gunman. Residents and visitors were told to stay inside and several miles of Route 16 was closed. On Tuesday morning, authorities said members of the public were still at risk and should be vigilant. That advice didn't change until Huntress' briefing. Autopsy results released Tuesday showed that Walker died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. William Jones died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Huntress said an autopsy still was being performed Tuesday afternoon on Gary Jones. Gary Jones' mother, Gail Jones, said her son and William Jones met through a biking club and had been friends for about seven years. "They were two great boys trying to make it in the world," she said. Gary Jones grew up in Halifax, Mass., and graduated from Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, Mass., in 2000. He was a plumber's apprentice. "He was a great son, he was an all-around good kid, good to his mom," said Gail Jones, who along with his father and sister, were with him in the hospital when he died. "He went to work every day, brought home a paycheck. He was trying to achieve the American dream." Ann Rice, a senior assistant New Hampshire attorney general, said two of the victims were found inside the store and the third "basically on the threshold." She said she could not comment on whether the third person was on his way in or was trying to run away when he was shot. The store is in the Mount Washington Valley, where outlet stores draw hordes of shoppers, partly because New Hampshire has no sales tax. The biggest concentration of stores is five miles north in North Conway. Army Barracks, a small chain, is based in Salem, Mass. Vice President Marilyn Brabantes called Walker "a great guy" and said his wife manages an Army Barracks store in Scarborough, Maine. The store sells camping equipment and gear such as knives, stun guns and paintball guns, but no firearms, Brabantes said. A pair of soldier-figurines flanked the door Tuesday along with flowers and a yellow ribbon.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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