Man involved in last year’s I-79 pursuit, shootout, manhunt sentenced
CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - A South Carolina man involved in last year’s multi-county pursuit, shootout and manhunt was sentenced on Tuesday.
28-year-old Wilber Chicas, of Greenville, South Carolina, was sentenced on Tuesday to one to five years for fleeing with reckless indifference, three to 15 years for attempted murder and 35 years for seven counts of wanton endangerment, according to the Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Officials said Chicas, who has already served a year and a month, will have to serve 11-and-a-half more years before he is eligible for parole on the convictions in Harrison County.
Chicas is will waiting to be prosecuted on charges in Marion County, officials said.
The other two men involved in the pursuit, shootout and manhunt, Luis Lebron and Jeroenne Santiago, have yet to be sentenced.
Officers went to Walmart on Emily Drive on May 26, 2022 to investigate a shoplifting incident after Chicas, Carballo, and Lebron fled in a white van, according to a criminal complaint.
Officers say they encountered the van on Rt. 50 and within one minute of being behind the van, shots were fired at the police cruiser near Advance Auto Parts in Bridgeport. According to another criminal complaint, a man who was working alongside the road heard the gun shots and a round strike a nearby metal pole.
The pursuit continued through Bridgeport on Center St., Smith St., Pennsylvania Ave., Del Dew Ave., Lawman Ave. and East Olive St. before finally turning onto Benedum Drive. Shots were fired from the van in close proximity of several people.
While on Benedum Dr., officers say the passengers in the van opened the rear doors and began throwing chairs and other items at the pursuing officers.
Court documents say shots were fired from the van at two vehicles while on Benedum Dr., one with a driver and one passenger and the other with a driver and two passengers.
After this, the van turned onto I-79 northbound and traveled into Marion County. As the van continued in Marion County, a passenger continued firing shots at officers with one round striking an officer’s windshield. Numerous items were also thrown out of the back of the van, striking the police cruisers.
The van allegedly exited the interstate at the White Hall and re-entered the interstate traveling north in the southbound lane of traffic.
Officers say the van came to a stop adjacent to the wooded area that would lead one to either the Quality Inn or The Woodland Apartments on Airport Road in Kingmont.
As the van slowed to a stop, a passenger reportedly fired shots again on law enforcement that was arriving. Both cruisers the passenger was firing shots at received damage from bullet impacts.
The driver and passenger of the van started a fire within the van before fleeing on foot, according to the report. One of the passengers continued to fire at deputies while exiting the van.
All three were arrested after an hours-long manhunt.
Through the course of the investigation, officers confirmed the van had been stolen in Greenville, South Carolina and brought into West Virginia by the driver and passengers.
Copyright 2023 WDTV. All rights reserved.