Man in hospital after being shot in Richmond shopping area, shooter at large

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A man is in the hospital after being shot in the parking lot of a busy Richmond shopping center Tuesday night, and police are still looking for his shooter.

Officers say the man was shot multiple times around 6 p.m. in the Family Dollar parking lot, located in the 5600 block of Hull St. They believe the suspect and victim knew each other and got into some type of altercation. "Unfortunately it was individuals who were not able to handle their problems in a civil manner which led to this," Richmond police capitain Darrell Goins said.

"I was just about to hide in the trunk when I heard it though. It was crazy," 8-year-old Franklin McElroy said. He was in the car with his parents pulling up to the Food Lion next door when he heard the gun shots. "After I heard the shots, it was scary. I saw the police coming. It's just hard to understand."

McElroy would go on to see something a child can't erase from his mind. "All we could see was there was a man down and he was shot."

McElroy and his parents still continued on into the grocery store, as police flooded the scene near Hull Street Rd. and Swanson Rd.

"We're concerned any time we have any shooting, but especially in a public place like this," Goins said.

Shortly after the shooting, people continued on with their shopping, even while the majority of the parking lot was taped off as police investigated.

"I would not expect this here you know," said shopper, Patrick Cadet, who is thinking about finding a new place to shop. "You're just scared for your life. You don't know what's going to happen to you because the bullet don't have a name on it."

"Overall, we still think this is a safe area. We want to go ahead and get any help from the public to identify who this individual was that perpetrated this crime so that we can get him off the streets," Goins said.
Police say they're beefing up patrols in the area, and they'll working on new initiatives to get illegal firearms off the streets.

Officials think the shooting was an isolated incident, and they have not yet released a suspect description.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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