Sheriff: 2 shot outside NC courthouse, 2 sought

NASHVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A manhunt is on for two suspects in the shooting of two men outside a North Carolina courthouse Tuesday, authorities said.

Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins said the men had non-life-threatening wounds in the shooting that happened about 11:15 a.m. He says one man ran inside the building and collapsed after being hit in the hand and leg. The other victim ran down the street and was found in a lot with a back wound.

Both men were taken to hospitals, Jenkins said. He didn’t know their ages or offer further descriptions.

Jenkins said he had no information on how the shooting happened or why.

A manhunt involving helicopters and dozens of armed officers patrolling a nearby highway was underway for two men who Jenkins said fled in a white car. The sheriff said he doesn’t know if both fired shots. Officers found four or five bullet casings at the scene.

Judy Winstead said she heard the gunshots as she sat at her desk in a real estate office across the street from the downtown courthouse decorated with two-story white columns. She said she ran to front door and locked it as an uninjured woman screamed in the front of the courthouse.

Within minutes “there were deputies all over the place and cop cars zooming in,” Winstead said.

Nashville is a town of about 5,500 in a heavily agricultural county and Winstead described the courthouse area as usually very safe.

Renee Davis said she heard five loud, echoing shots inside her flower shop across the street.

“You knew it was gunshots because it was consecutive,” said Davis, co-owner of Madelyn’s Flower Shop. A half-dozen people ducked inside her shop for cover, she said. Minutes earlier, a bride had picked up flowers and pulled away not long before the gunfire began, she said.

“We were in here. We had the doors open. It was a beautiful day,” Davis said.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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