Shots fired in foiled robbery attempt Friday

Published 3:23 am Sunday, July 29, 2012

     Brookhaven Police have a suspect in custody in connection to a robbery attempt at a local animal hospital in which shots were fired, authorities said.

     A doctor with the Brookhaven Animal Hospital located on Highway 51 North  discovered two men attempting to break into his vehicle Friday afternoon about 3:30 in the parking lot of the animal hospital, said Assistant Police Chief Bobby Bell.

     Dr. Bob Watson, owner of the animal hospital, identified the doctor involved in the incident as Justin Dickerson.

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     When Dickerson approached the two men, a shot was fired, but no one was injured, Bell said.

     Watson said it’s believed Dickerson’s stethoscope deflected a shot.

     “He was shot at, he froze, and didn’t move. He didn’t know if he was hit or not. He had a stethoscope around his neck, and the barrel was missing. That’s why they think it was deflected.”

     The barrel is the round, metal portion of the stethoscope used for listening.

     An arrest has been made, but the suspect is a juvenile and police are not releasing his name.

     Police are still searching for the second suspect.

     “I think another arrest will be made soon,” Bell said.

     Watson said the two men involved in the robbery and shooting ran away once shots were fired, but that the first arrest was made within minutes.

     Watson was not present at the hospital Friday when the incident happened, but arrived shortly thereafter.

     Watson said Friday’s robbery and shooting is the third is a series of incidents that have occurred.

     Over two months ago, Watson’s truck was broken into at the hospital and a gun was stolen out of it at 10 a.m. Sometime later, a truck was vandalized and about $9,000 of damage was done.

     There were witnesses to the first theft and Friday’s shooting, but not the vandalism, Watson said.

     “We’re very shook up,” Watson said. “There’s anger, uneasiness.”