Several armed men pulled up by car to the EZ Mart at Forest Lane and Audelia Road a little before 3 p.m. Thursday and began shooting at other men who were standing in front of the convenience store, according to an unnamed witness who says his cousin was one of the injured. Asked if he believed the shooting was gang related, the young man responded, “something like that.”
I heard about the incident from a contractor who was working on my Woodbridge home Thursday afternoon. She called to let me know she witnessed a shooting as she exited my neighborhood.
By the time I logged onto my neighborhood Facebook group this evening, frightened residents, some who also had witnessed the disturbing incident, were badly shaken.
Thing is, this isn’t anywhere near the first time something like this has happened at this location. It’s kind of like that Skillman Commons issue we wrote about a couple weeks back. But who can we blame? The owners? The police? Our city council representative? “Why won’t they do anything,” the people lament.
They have done things, though — created task forces, implemented crackdowns, organized unity festivals, planned a boxing gym staffed by city employees, secured funds for and hired a new community prosecutor, blasted classical music to deter loitering …
Our council representative Adam McGough even chimed into the conversation, after pointing out his many efforts, asking, what more can I do — not rhetorically either. He was seriously asking.
Still, the area continues to earn its “Northghanistan” nickname. And it has been suggested police focus more closely on the gang angle. There is no quick fix; as we mused a couple years ago, the problems of Lake Highlands are complex and many people and entities have worked behind the scenes for many years just to make small dents in the problems that plague the area. While fear and anger is understandable, anyone who looks into the multifaceted efforts cannot help but be impressed.
I pulled up to the convenience store at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday, and I was not inclined to give the proprietor much credit for keeping the area safe.
Several men and two security guards — employed by the store, according to the two clerks on duty — stood around outside. That’s where I spoke to the young man who said his cousin was shot.
Two of the men began fist fighting as I stood there, and the security personnel seemed pretty helpless to stop it. I went inside to ask the clerks, who didn’t give their names, what had happened earlier. They said the shooting began in the afternoon, that they never left their post behind bulletproof glass, but they did hear maybe six shots and say that many police cars soon arrived, then later taped off the place.
I kept the conversation short.
While I have contacted police for more information, I am unsure whether there were fatalities. We will add to this as more information comes in.