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Shooting reported outside Giant in Fredericksburg’s Eagle Village

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By KEITH EPPS

A 47-year-old man was shot in the chest Saturday afternoon in a Fredericksburg shopping center, police said.

Police believe the shooting occurred during a drug transaction. The victim was in Mary Washington Hospital Saturday evening and is expected to survive.

A 19-year-old man was in custody but had not been charged as of Saturday evening.

According to city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe, police were called about the shooting at 3:50 p.m. By that time, the victim was already at the hospital, and someone from the hospital notified police.

Bledsoe said the investigation has revealed that the victim, the 19-year-old and perhaps others had met in the parking lot at Eagle Village off U.S. 1 for some sort of drug transaction.

At some point the discussion went bad and someone tried to rob the shooting victim. The victim fought back and slashed one of the tires on the suspect’s vehicle. The victim was shot shortly after slashing the tire.

The suspect left the scene in the vehicle and headed north on U.S. 1 with a flat tire. He drove a short distance to the nearby Taco Bell parking lot, where the car was abandoned.

City officers were with the car in Fredericksburg Shopping Center a short time later when they received information that a young man had just gone into Advanced Auto Parts and had called someone to give him a ride.

The 19-year-old’s mother showed up later and identified the car and said her son had been driving it. The mother said she’d been told there was a problem with the car.

The 19-year-old was taken into custody and was questioned by police, Bledsoe said.

Witnesses told police that there was a second person with the 19-year-old during the Eagle Village exchange, but that person was alternately described as being black and white. Another witness said there was no one with the 19-year-old when he got to Fredericksburg Shopping Center.

Bledsoe said police are trying to verify if there was a second suspect and who he is. They are also looking for the gun used in the shooting, which had not been found as of Saturday night.

Bledsoe said there was also someone with the victim during the incident. It was not clear if the victim drove himself to the hospital or if the other person drove him.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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