St. Albans, West Virginia

From the Charleston Gazette of April 26, 2007

Booker’s shooting death called self-defense

The shooting death of former Capital High School basketball star Lawrence “L.B.” Booker in St. Albans last week was “self-defense,” a St. Albans police officer said Wednesday.

Police responded to the shooting in the early morning hours of April 17. They spoke with Justin Johnson, who told police he had shot a man who attacked him with a gun in the parking lot of his apartment at 741 Holley St., according a search warrant for a Jeep Grand Cherokee spotted at the crime scene.

Booker, 23, of Dunbar, and a “company of other people” may have been trying to rob Johnson when shots were exchanged, said Lt. James Agee of the St. Albans Police Department.

“Booker and other parties came to St. Albans and put a gun to [Johnson’s] head,” Agee said.

After being shot twice, Booker was taken in the Jeep by a woman to Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, according to the search warrant. He later died at CAMC General Hospital.

“Mr. Johnson shot Mr. Booker, that much we know,” Agee said, adding that police recovered guns carried by both Booker and Johnson.

“Our belief is [Johnson] was going to be a victim of some violence [and] was defending himself,” Agee said.

Police have not charged anyone in the incident, but Agee said investigators are still seeking information from “people of interest.” An arrest will likely be forthcoming, he said.

Johnson cooperated with police on the night of the shooting, Agee said.

As a senior in 2001, Booker was a first-team All State basketball player for Capital. The season was highlighted by a game-winning, last-second 3-pointer in the state AAA finals against George Washington High School.

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