Man shot while trying to prevent entering auto

Armed thieves steal from car as bystander dives for cover. From surveillance video.
Armed thieves steal from car as bystander dives for cover. From surveillance video.

A man was shot in the leg on Nov. 21 at a convenience store on Ga. Highway 138 in north Fayette County while attempting to stop the theft of items from his vehicle.

The Nov. 21 incident occurred at 9:51 p.m., with deputies responding to a person shot at the Texaco store at 2400 Hwy. 138 in unincorporated Fayette County, in the tri-county geographical area that includes Fayette, Fulton and Clayton counties, said Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb.

Babb said the victim, a 21-year-old Riverdale man, told deputies he observed a male subject breaking into his white Jeep Renegade parked at the gas pumps. The victim, who was inside the store, exited yelling at the male.

The male stole a book bag then fled in a dark-colored Alfa Romeo Stelvio with several other occupants. As the victim returned inside the store, he noticed the dark Alfa Romeo pull back up alongside his Jeep, Babb said.

The victim told deputies he exited the store to confront the male as he began stealing additional items. It was then that the other occupants of the Alfa Romeo began shooting at the victim, striking him in the leg, said Babb.

Babb said the store front was also struck and a customer getting fuel was forced to take cover by his vehicle as customers in the store hid behind objects during the gunfire. The Alfa Romeo fled the parking lot before deputies arrived.

Babb said the sheriff’s office recommends that citizens do not attempt to confront suspects during a crime in progress, but instead call 911 from a safe location and be able to provide details such as physical descriptions, details of vehicles involved and direction of travel.