A Danville man was arrested late Monday for allegedly shooting two people to death and leaving another seriously injured in what police say appears to be a drug-related crime.
Police Chief Tony Gray said officers arrested Thomas Wayne Hager Jr., 39, about 11 p.m. at his residence in the Village Apartments on McClure Drive off Stanford Road.
Hager is charged with killing Mark Snyder, 21, of Waynesburg, and Ted Sparks, 54, of 477 High St. in Danville, the address where the shootings took place. A third victim, Philip White of Lancaster was in surgery at University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center late Monday but was expected to survive.
When police responded to reports of a shooting at the corner of High and Fifth streets about 4:30 p.m., officer Brian Adams found White, who was suffering from gunshot wounds, at 482 High St.
According to White's account, given at the scene and later at the hospital, when he had entered the residence at 477 High St. after 4 p.m. he found a man who appeared to be Hispanic holding Snyder and Sparks at gunpoint. The victims were on their knees with their hands behind their backs, White told police.
White said he was shot while he attempted to jump out of an east-facing window on the home’s first floor.
Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots after White ran from the home looking for help from neighbors. When additional police and emergency workers reached the scene, they found Snyder and Sparks dead from gunshot wounds.
Chief Gray said police later located a blue Chevrolet truck with a stripe, described by witnesses as the vehicle the suspect drove away in after the shooting, at the Village Apartments. Hager, who lived in Unit 28 at the complex with his girlfriend, agreed to voluntary questioning at the time, Gray said.
While police spoke to Hager, the investigation began to directly link him to the vehicle and the two deceased victims. Police found what they believe is the murder weapon and other evidence pointing to Hager as the shooter in a Dumpster at the Village Apartments.
The shootings were related to prescription drugs in some way, the police chief said, but he declined to elaborate on what may have been going on in the house. He said it didn’t appear anything had been taken from the home.
“We don’t know exactly who was doing what (at the home) at this point,” Gray said.
Gray said police have been called to the address in the past, but he did not know the nature of the calls, or whether any of the victims or Hager were involved in those incidents.
Hager had to be treated for a medical condition during his interview with police, but he was later taken into custody. He was booked into the Boyle County Detention Center early today where he faces two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and charges for tampering with evidence. More charges are expected.
Hager will be arraigned Wednesday morning in Boyle District Court.
Gray credited cooperation between agencies for making the quick arrest, citing assistance from state police, Boyle County Sheriff’s Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department. He praised the Danville Police Department, which has a large number of young officers, for functioning well under pressure in the hours after the crimes.
Gray, who was sworn in as chief last week, believes this is the first homicide inside the city limits of Danville since June 2010 when Thomas Douglas apparently shot his wife Sharon Douglas before turning the gun on himself.