Investigation continues after Rochester man shot in face
A 20-year-old Rochester man is recovering today after police say he was shot in the face during a drug transaction that went bad.
The investigation into the shooting lasted into the early morning hours and continues today.
Officers were called about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday to the emergency room of a local hospital, where staff told them they were treating a patient who'd walked in with a gunshot wound to the head. When police arrived, the man had been taken to surgery, and was unable to talk to them.
The two men who'd brought the victim to the hospital were cooperative, said Lt. Mike Sadauskis, and told them this:
The 20-year-old had arranged for the group to meet two other men at 7 p.m. in the parking lot of Perkins, at 432 16th Ave. N.W. When the victim and his friends arrived, the two others got into their vehicle; together, the five drove to a nearby neighborhood.
At some point in the drive, an altercation began, Sadauskis said. The fight spilled out of the vehicle in the 400 block of 13th Avenue Northwest.
One of the men they'd picked up at Perkins pulled a small-caliber handgun from his clothing and fired a single shot, Sadauskis said. The round struck the 20-year-old in the chin, traveled laterally and exited out the side of his face near his mouth. Though the shooting was essentially a contact shot, the injuries are not life-threatening, the report says. Investigators hope to speak to the victim today.
After the shooting, the two men ran to a vehicle that was parked and apparently waiting for them nearby, Sadauskis said, and drove off with another man. The waiting vehicle, described as a silver passenger car believed to be a Chevy Impala or Malibu, leads police to believe the incident was planned, he said.
"It's unusual that two people meet someone, get in their car, and a third person is waiting somewhere," Sadauskis said this morning.
Investigators know the identities of the three men — described as being in their late teens and early 20s — and searched until about 1:30 a.m. today for the suspects, he said.
"We've had interactions with all three of them" in the past, Sadauskis said, and officers have been checking known residences and hang-outs.
While the man who fired the shot is the prime suspect, police hope to speak to the two others as well. Charges against the others are pending the outcome of the investigation.
Sadauskis said it was not a random incident, and believes the public is not at risk.
He said the search will continue for "several more days" before investigators consider asking for the public's help in finding the suspects, whose identities he did not release.
The name and condition of the injured man also were not released.