On November 5, 2016 at 6:04 a.m. a 911 call was placed from the 3100 block of Leatherwood Road near Clendenin. Residents reported someone shooting their residence twice with a shotgun, then leaving. Due to other in-progress emergencies a Deputy Sheriff was delayed responding to investigate. When a Kanawha County Deputy Sheriff arrived at 9:36 a.m. he learned the residents identified the shooter as their own neighbor, Russell Elswick, 56 years old of Clendenin, WV.
The Deputy radioed the office for additional information and learned Mr. Elswick was prohibited by law from possessing firearms, and had an active capias warrant from recently missing a court date. He was charged recently with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and was released on bond.
The Deputy radioed supervisors and additional units responded to the scene. Mr. Elswick was living in a converted barn near the initial 911 callers. The Deputies spoke to Mr. Elswick through a window in the barn door. He refused to come outside. A relative of Mr. Elswick came to the scene and spoke to him, as well, but still he would not come outside. A tear gas canister was used, also. Mr. Elswick stopped communicating altogether.
The Deputies then opened the door’s window to see if they could open the door itself. While doing so Mr. Elswick appeared from behind a barricade at the rear wall with a shotgun. He threatened the Deputies verbally, then began to point the shotgun at them when they shot him with their pistols at approximately 1:05 p.m.
The Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority was summoned. Mr. Elswick was pronounced dead at the scene. There is an internal investigation being conducted by the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, and an external investigation being handled through detectives with other local law enforcement agencies.
Sgt. B. D. Humphreys