The two survivors managed to escape and run to a nearby house, where neighbors called police about 3 a.m., said Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford. Authorities would not release details about possible suspects or motives for the attack.
A sixth person who had been in the home was injured when he jumped through a window trying to escape the attack, Rutherford said.
The sheriff's department identified the dead as Dennis Lovejoy, 47, the house's owner; Amanda Ingram Walker, 31, of St. Albans, W.Va.; and Gregory Childress, 46, of Culloden, W.Va.
The injured men were identified as James Adkins, 39, of St. Albans, who was in critical condition, and Jerry Allen, 33, of Dunbar, W, Va., who was still being evaluated. It wasn't immediately clear which man was shot. The name and condition of the woman who survived the shooting was not immediately released.
Ingram's brother, Tony Gurley, said he saw the shooting on the news.
"I had a bad feeling, my gut just flipped over," said Gurley, who provided deputies with information to help identify his sister.
The home is on a dead end street in an unincorporated community near St. Albans, about 15 miles west of Charleston. Police were searching for a vehicle seen leaving the area, but witnesses couldn't provide a strong description.