Discovery of shooting victim changes focus for police

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 21, 2002

Messenger Publisher

A gunshot victim treated late Tuesday at a Montgomery hospital helped Troy Police piece together details of a shooting that took place earlier that day in Troy.

An apparent confrontation between teenagers in town for a basketball tournament led to the shooting that took place at about 2 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant on U.S. 231. At the time, police knew that four shots were fired and one car window was destroyed, but they had no reports of injuries and few details about what prompted the shootings.

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"We found out late Tuesday that an individual had been treated at a Montgomery hospital for a gunshot wound," said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer for Troy Police. When Montgomery officials asked about the wound, the victim told them he was shot while in Troy. The timing and information matched, so investigators from Troy spent the day in Montgomery, interviewing the 18-year-old victim and others about the incident.

They came away with a clearer picture of what happened, and a strong suspect in the case, Scarbrough said. Police believe a conflict took place between two individuals; one fired shots, shattering a nearby car window and injuring the victim who was standing with the crowd of teenagers gathered in the parking lot.

Because the incident remains under investigation, Scarbrough would not release details about the victim. Scarbrough did say the teenager was shot once in the back, apparently with a small-caliber handgun, and the wound was not life-threatening. He was treated and released from a Montgomery hospital. "He was lucky," Scarbrough said.

"I can tell you that both the victim and the alleged perpetrator are not from Troy," Scarbrough said. "And I can tell you that both individuals had attended a basketball game in Troy (before the incident occurred.)" He was referring to the Class 6A Boys Southeast Regional Tournament, which began Tuesday and continues through this weekend at Troy State University.

Scarbrough said police were concerned that the conflict had escalated to violence and, more important, the department was not going to tolerate this type of dangerous behavior.

"We are not going to sit back and allow individuals to come to Troy and jeopardize the safety of the citizens who live here with this type of behavior," said Police Chief Anthony Everage. The case continues to be investigated and will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

The suspect could face charges of assault (third degree); shooting into an unoccupied vehicle (which can be a felony charge); and possibly menacing, which would stem from threatening an individual with a weapon, Scarbrough said.

"If you’re going to come to Troy you need to mind your manners and obey the law," Scarbrough said.