West Virginia

The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in West Virginia. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.

The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.


Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: John Ferrell PENDING

Date: January 6, 2015
People Killed: 1

On January 6, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder John Ferrell, 32, allegedly shot and killed Cody Austin Perry, 25, following a confrontation outside their parked vehicles.  On the night of the shooting, Ferrell’s wife called him to report that a “suspicious” vehicle was parked at the end of their driveway.  Ferrell left his job and came home to investigate.  Perry was in the car with his fiancee Ashton Akers, and they agreed to move their car when approached by Ferrell.  Ferrell was returning to work when he noticed the car again, parked on an adjacent road.  According to Ferrell, he parked his car about 40 feet away and waited before Perry moved his car closer to Ferrell.  According to Ferrell, Perry exited his vehicle and approached Ferrell who also got out of his car.  Ferrell allegedly shot Perry in the face with a 45 caliber handgun at close range.  Ferrell claims he acted in self defense.  Prosecutors plan to present the case to a grand jury in March 2015, with the grand jury to decide what charges will be filed against Ferrell.

Source: “Grand jury to decide if Wayne County shooting was self-defense,” The Charleston Gazette, January 15, 2015; “Grand jury may decide on homicide charges,” The Herald-Dispatch, January 8, 2015; “One dead in Wayne County shooting,” The Herald-Dispatch, January 7, 2015.


Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Barry Allen Stewart and Kimberly Ann Stines SUICIDE

Date: September 3, 2013
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)

On September 3, 2013, concealed handgun permit holders Barry Allen Stewart, 31, and Kimberly Ann Stines, 34, were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds in Stewart’s home.  The firearm believed to be used in the shootings was found in the home, but the identity of the shooter was not reported.   Stewart and Stines were married in January 2010 and divorced in October of the same year though Stines continued to live at the residence from time to time.  Stines filed a domestic violence petition against Stewart which was dismissed for lack of evidence in March 2013.

Source: “Family shocked by couple’s deaths,” herald-dispatch.com, September 6, 2013; “Two dead in domestic shooting,” herald-dispatch.com, September 3, 2013; “Domestic violence suspected after 2 found dead near Huntington,” Charleston Daily Mail, September 3, 2013.


Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Christopher Wayne Bowling CONVICTED

Date: January 31, 2010
People Killed: 1

On January 31, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Christopher Wayne Bowling, 38, allegedly shot and killed his wife Tresa with a handgun. In court testimony, the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, who was “just feet away” when her mother was shot and killed, testified to a history of domestic abuse in the home. Bowling maintained that the shooting was accidental and had occurred on a “good day between the two.” According to his friend, State Trooper Mark Painter, “He made the statement that he had wanted to kill her a thousand times before but not this day.” Bowling was charged with first-degree murder.

UPDATE: On October 31, 2011, Christopher Wayne Bowling was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting of his wife Tresa. Bowling was convicted of first degree murder and an additional charge of using a firearm in committing the crime.

Source: “Judge affirms life sentence for Bowling,” Register-Herald.com, November 1, 2011; “Daughter testifies in murder trial,” Register-Herald.com, May 6, 2011.