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Police, residents provide more information about weekend shooting

September 27, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER
  • The Robinwood Court apartment complex, where a shooting took place Saturday morning.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Children's laughter carried from open windows at Robinwood Court Apartments on Monday. Potted plants adorned porches, and a mix of toys, bicycles and strollers stood under stairwells, safely out of the rain that beat a steady rhythm on the pavement.

The scene at the housing complex off Robinwood Drive near College Plaza Center was quite different than it was two days before.

At 3:12 a.m. Saturday, bullets flew through the parking lot, damaging cars and buildings, and wounding one man, authorities said.

The incident occurred as several people got out of two cars parked in the lot and approached another group of people gathered in the lot, authorities said.

Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore on Monday would not disclose exactly how many shots were fired, saying only that it was "definitely a lot of shots."

Mullendore pointed to cars in the parking lot Saturday that were damaged by gunfire and said two firearms, one of them a handgun, were recovered.

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On Monday, one resident pointed out where a bullet tore through the wall of her apartment, making a coin-sized hole before coming to rest on her kitchen counter.

The woman, who asked that her name not be used for security reasons, said she considered herself lucky that neither she nor her 5-month-old son were home when the bullet ripped through the wall.

The woman said she was visiting a neighbor in the complex at the time.

"It sounded like a bunch of gunshots," she said. "I would have been scared if I was home by myself."

Police took the bullet as evidence, she said.

Police believe the bullet traveled across the parking lot before going through the wall, Mullendore said.

Resident Megan Mayes said when the shooting started, it sounded like fireworks.

Two men were injured in the shooting, police said Saturday. Robert Earl Mitchell, 22, of 165 S. Potomac St. was shot three times and another man, Christopher Lee, 21, of 1900 Abbey Lane, broke his leg fleeing the scene Saturday, according to police.

No information was available Monday on the condition of either man, according to a Washington County Hospital spokeswoman.

The idea of a shooting in their parking lot was on the minds of residents Monday.

"I think everyone is concerned," resident Curt Jamke said. "There are a lot of young kids here."

Jamke said he was told it sounded like a western movie when the shots rang out, adding that he did not hear the gunfire because he was asleep.

On the way to his door Monday, one man paused to say he wondered if the incident was drug-related.

Jamke said he wondered if gangs were involved.

"I come outside late at night sometimes. Is this what I will have to deal with here?" asked Jamke, who said he might move.

Police have not identified any suspects, but they do have an idea who was there during the incident, Mullendore said.

Those responsible for the shooting are not believed to be residents of the apartment complex, he said.

A representative of Robinwood Court Apartments, who identified himself only as Dan, said tenants of the complex are subject to background and credit checks.

"This was obviously not a tenant," he said of those responsible for the shooting.

Dan, in a telephone conversation, would not say if any security cameras or security personnel monitor the complex. Security information is confidential, he said.

"We do not want everyone to know what we are doing on our end," he said.

He did say that a manager lives in the complex.

He also said that if anything could have been done to prevent the shooting, it would have been done.

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