CORRECTION (6/15): This story originally stated that Erik Shute is the frontman of Pyrexia; the band has clarified in a statement following his arrest that Shute "hasn't been an active member of Pyrexia for some time now." Their full statement is below.
ORIGINAL STORY (6/14): Erik Shute, the former singer of New York City death metal band Pyrexia, was apprehended by Pennsylvania authorities today in connection with a triple murder in West Virginia. Shute stands accused of shooting three men with a .223 caliber rifle following a property dispute in Morgan County, according to local news station WSAZ.
Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh said on Tuesday that Shute "ambushed" the three men as they cleared debris from a road adjacent to a house he was occupying. One man was able to flee the scene while evading the gunfire, and escaped with no injuries. After the incident, Shute went into hiding, but not without posting about the incident on Facebook, where he repeatedly claimed the shooting was in self-defense. The since deleted post read:
"This was in self-defense. I talked to a cop and even he agreed this is an open and shut case and that they probably won't even pursue charges. I am just waiting to to talk to the prosecutor. I have nothing to hide. Media contact me on my cell. I am open to talk. These guys stole $20,000 pf oir [sic] stuff and sold it for drugs and threatened me to my face before. They even unacrewed [sic] my brake line while [I] was asleep. Everyone not on drugs on the mountain hates them. These are known thieves and drug addicts."
Shambaugh said Tuesday afternoon that Shute had been apprehended, and was in custody in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The 32-year-old was reportedly on the run for eight hours, as authorities searched for him in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Shute has had multiple encounters with law enforcement. According to NJ.com, he was indicted by a New Jersey grand jury in 2011 on charges of aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
In a statement posted to Facebook, the current members of Pyrexia wrote:
"As we watch this event unfold , we are shocked and saddened to learn that our former singer Erick has been involved in what seems to be a shooting by his own hands. Although all the details have yet to unravel, and he hasn't been an active member of Pyrexia for some time now , we have been rocked by this horrible news. There's no question the man had obscure views and was an odd and quiet person at times , but you try and accept a persons shortcomings or different viewpoints. No one saw this in him."