ELK CREEK — Although details are sketchy at this time and law enforcement remain tight-lipped regarding the circumstances involved in a bizarre incident that occurred at Elk Creek Wednesday evening, information gathered thus far is that two individuals lost their lives and another narrowly escaped serious injury.
Mingo County 911 received a call for help from Commissioner David Baisden at approximately 9:20 p.m., who asked for an ambulance to respond to a location on the left fork of Elk Creek, saying there was a man lying in the road that had been beaten and was bleeding profusely from his head and facial area.
Baisden was then heard telling the 911 dispatchers that a man was coming toward him in a threatening manner with an object in his hand, and communication was lost for a short period of time.
According to unofficial reports gathered from eyewitnesses at the scene, the injured man identified by family and neighbors as Alfred Curry, was a relative of Commissioner Baisden who had been severely injured in an altercation with a man they identified as Phillip Gilman.
The suspect (Gilman) is said to have forced Baisden from his truck after he arrived at the location and took possession of it, and at that time is alleged to have drove the vehicle overtop of Curry, who was injured and lying in the roadway.
The commissioner was running to a nearby home to call for help when he was met by a Delbarton firefighter who gave Baisden a ride and who also radioed 911 to update them on the situation. While this was happening, the fireman and Baisden observed the hijacked truck coming back to the scene, where it reportedly struck the victim again, running over Curry a second time.
Shots were allegedly fired at Gilman by the firefighter, injuring Gilbert who then fled the scene on foot. Medical care was administered to Curry, to no avail, and he was pronounced dead on the scene from his injuries. A full scale manhunt for Gilman ensued that involved numerous law enforcement officers from the West Virginia State Police (WVSP), the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) and other municipalities.
Gilman reportedly died at the scene, although details regarding the definite cause of his death have not been released.
Although Commissioner Baisden was not physically injured during the terrible ordeal, witnesses said he was extremely upset and visibly shaken; having witnessed the death of a relative at the hands of another while being forced from his vehicle, which was then said to have been used in the crime.
Attempts to reach Baisden for comment were unsuccessful.
The investigation into this tragic incident that resulted in the deaths of two Elk Creek residents is under the direction of the WVSP and more information and details will be released as they become available.