WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Police are investigating after seven people were shot in Winston-Salem over the weekend, according to the Winston-Salem Police Department.
At 7:48 p.m. on Sunday, officers first responded to a scene near Fairview Park on the 900 block of Bethlehem Lane where investigators found more than 50 spent shell casings.
Police then found two victims on U.S. 52, south of the 25th Street and 28th Street exit. Police said their injuries were primarily to the head and face and were consistent with “being struck by projectiles” while driving northbound on U.S. 52. Their injuries are not life-threatening.
Four more gunshot victims were found on the 2000 block of 25th Street. Three were taken to the hospital, and another refused medical care. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
James Coleman was one of those four people.
He told FOX8 that he was an “unintended target” in this case.
“Not something that you can prepare yourself for. You just have to react…hopefully, your reaction won’t put you in any more harm or danger,” he said.
He was on his way home from work at Wake Forest University when he stopped at the convenience store on 25th street.
He heard the shooting near Fairview Park and then heard people inside the store shout that those same shooters were driving down their street.
Coleman said he saw a person standing out of the sunroof of a white car with a large rifle. The shooters shot into a house across the street, according to Coleman.
He then saw them turn the vehicle around and drive back down 25th street where they shot into the store.
Coleman told FOX8 he hid behind an ATM in the store.
“I peeked from behind the ATM, and I saw three bodies at the front of the store. I don’t know if they were all three hit, but they were yelling,” he said.
Coleman was grazed in the arm by a bullet, while another man was shot in the shoulder.
Though he served in the military, Coleman said he never planned to use those combat skills so close to home.
“Even with training in the Marines, you could never be prepared for a drive-by,” he said.
Police learned of a seventh victim who arrived at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the torso. This victim was injured in the shooting on the 2000 block of 25th Street.
According to a release, the investigation is in “early stages,” but officers believe there was a “large exchange” of gunfire on Bethleham Lane that led to more shots being fired on East 25th Street and U.S. 52.
The shooting was detected by the department’s gunshot detection system.
“Some of the instances that did occur last night did occur in our shot spotter – three-square-mile area…because it’s the initial phase of the project….it certainly did play a role, and it allows us to hone in on the locations and the evidence seized in part of that investigation,” Captain Amy Gauldin said.
She said almost all of the people hurt knew the shooters but will not confirm how.
A motive has not been released.
Police have not released any suspect information, but they do not believe this was a random act of violence.