Two shot following holiday dance

Published 10:34 am Thursday, December 31, 2009

AHOSKIE – A holiday dance ended with gunfire here early Wednesday morning, sending two young men to the hospital.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said his officers are investigating the shooting, one that occurred at around 1:30 a.m. as a large crowd of people were leaving a dance at the American Legion Building located at the corner of North and McGlohon streets.

“Multiple shots were fired from what we believe was a handgun,” Chief Fitzhugh said. “One person was shot in the upper torso area, near his shoulder, while the other was shot in the leg, near his knee.”

Fitzhugh did not release the names of the victims, only saying they were both young males in the age range of 18-to-22.

Both were taken to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, the Chief said. The victim shot in the upper torso was then flown by EastCare to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville where Fitzhugh said he was in stable condition. The other victim was transported to Pitt Memorial via an EastCare ground unit. He was treated and released.

Fitzhugh reported there were a few altercations involving females inside the Legion Building during the dance. It is not known at this time if those altercations had anything to do with the shooting.

The shots rang out as a portion of the crowd leaving the dance were in a small parking lot located between the Embarq Building, which faces McGlohon Street, and Carolina Home Care, an office facing Main Street.

“We believe there was only one shooter,” Fitzhugh said.

He added that three, off-duty Ahoskie Police officers were hired by the individual renting the Legion Building to work as security.

“They were working both inside and outside the building during the dance,” Fitzhugh said. “They were outside the building as the crowd was leaving and heard the gunfire. There was a large group of people walking up McGlohon Street towards Main Street at that time.”

The Chief added that he believes the shots were fired from someone walking in that crowd or near the crowd.

“We’re currently in the process of interviewing as many people we can that were among the crowd leaving the dance,” Fitzhugh said.

APD Lt. Detective Jeremy Roberts is leading that investigation. He was called to the scene early Wednesday morning and joined by APD Captain Michele Garrett and Detective Sgt. Stephen White.

Those with information regarding the shooting are urged to contact the Ahoskie Police Department at 332-5011. All information is kept confidential.

The dance occurred following the annual Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald/Joe Murray Realty Holiday Classic held at Hertford County High School. The dance is not connected to the tournament nor the high school.