Police probe early Sun. shooting

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 7, 2008

Authorities are probing an early Sunday morning shooting inwhich a store owner’s son allegedly shot a man who was believed tohave been trying to steal a 12-pack of beer, Police Chief PapHenderson said.

Ira L. Smith, Jr. of Brookhaven, was at University MedicalCenter today after he sustained gunshot wounds to the hand andbuttocks following an altercation at the C-Store at the corner ofEast Monticello Street and Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Drive, Hendersonsaid.

Shiva Behal, of 659 Virginia Ave., was released on bond laterSunday after he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault anddischarging a firearm in the city.

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Witnesses told police the shooting took place just aftermidnight on Sunday.

Allegedly Smith came into the store and tried to leave with a12-pack of beer for which he had not paid. Henderson said witnessessay Behal, who is the son of the store’s owner, chased him behindthe store where the shooting occurred.

The initial call of shots fired came in at 12:07 a.m.. However,when police arrived on the scene, they were unable to locate asubject with a gun.

“We received no information from the owner of the store on whattook place at that time,” he said. “Once our officers arrived therewas nobody around with a weapon.”

Shortly thereafter, King’s Daughters Medical Center officialscalled to tell authorities they had a shooting victim who had comein to the emergency room.

“At that particular time he (Smith) didn’t want to cooperate,”said Henderson, saying police were able to gather the informationfrom witnesses.

Henderson said the investigation into the altercation andsubsequent shooting is ongoing.