A man attacked inside a Target store fired a gun to try to stop the beating, North Carolina officials said.
But the three people kept assaulting him and took his gun on Tuesday, June 28, according to the Winston-Salem Police Department.
Officials reported being called at about 8:30 p.m. to a “disturbance with weapons.” While responding to the Target on Hanes Mall Boulevard, police cleared the store and didn’t find a shooting victim, according to a Twitter post.
Later, a 25-year-old came to a hospital and told officials that three men had attacked him at the store. He reportedly had minor injuries and hadn’t been shot during the incident, which police believe wasn’t random.
In an emailed statement, Target referred questions to police but said three people were in an “altercation” when a weapon was fired at the Hanes Mall location.
“Our team immediately evacuated the store and the Winston-Salem Police Department quickly responded,” company spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo wrote on June 29. “The store has since reopened and we’re assisting law enforcement with their investigation.”
Officers said the man was inside the Winston-Salem store when three people started beating him. He was hit in the head and fired his gun once to try to ward off the group, according to police.
The suspects reportedly continued attacking him, took the man’s gun and ran out of the business. After the incident, “officers located evidence inside the store that indicated a struggle had occurred in the back of the store,” the police department wrote in a news release.
Now, police are seeking clues about the people accused of assaulting the man. All three men left in a smaller white car that might have an Ohio license plate, officials said.
Anyone with tips is urged to contact Winston-Salem police at 336-773-7700 and Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800 or in Spanish at 336-728-3904. People can also submit information online or through the Text-A-Tip Program.