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    West Virginia Shootings Impact C-Stores

    Random sniper attacks leave employees more alert and residents running scared.

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Three shootings at area convenience stores have prompted operators in the Charleston, W.Va. market to increase security and awareness. They many also have suffered a loss of sales. The first incident occurred on August 10 near Charleston, and was followed by two more last Thursday -- one at a Speedway SuperAmerica in Campbells Creek, and two at Go-Mart stores in Cedar Grove and Charleston.

    "We have a heightened awareness at all of our store locations, and all have outside surveillance cameras and other security measures," Chuck Rice, a spokesman for Speedway SuperAmerica LLC, told CSNews Online.

    Additionally, since all three shootings occurred after dark, many area residents are filling their tanks and shopping for groceries during the day, and Rice expects the industry in the region to be affected. "I think people are really frightened, and I think it will affect the whole industry in West Virginia," he explained.

    A woman was shot while pumping gas at the SuperAmerica store at 10:20 p.m. on Thursday, and about an hour later a man was killed outside a nearby Go Mart. This followed a Sunday attack when a man was shot in the head while using a payphone outside a Charleston Go-Mart.

    "We sympathize with the families impacted, and will continue to keep our employee awareness up," said Rice. SuperAmerica operates 2000 stores, and 110 are located in West Virginia.

    Authorities are scrutinizing video from surveillance cameras, and have identified that the bullets in all three attacks were fired from the same caliber and class of weapon, and all from 30 yards away, according to reports.

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