WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A man has been arrested in connection to Thursday’s shooting in a parking lot in the 3500 block of Oleander Drive.
Crime scene tape covered the parking lot of the Hanover Center shopping center, across from Independence Mall minutes after the shots rang out.
Robert Taylor, 51, was arrested Thursday and has been charged with Attempted First Degree Murder, Possession of Firearm by a Felon, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon.
Officials say the shooting took place around 6:45 p.m. in the Hanover Center parking lot. The 35-year-old victim is in stable condition and recovering in the hospital.
“This incident is personal in nature where the victim and suspect were acquaintances,” a WPD news release states. “This shooting appears to be an isolated incident and the public is not in any danger.”
Many businesses had closed for the night by the time the shooting happened, but workers still inside the stores and restaurants at Hanover Center immediately locked down.
“I heard a pretty loud, audible gunshot which is a little scary… and I locked the door and turned the lights off and waited for the police,” said Jaime Hollister, assistant manager of Feet First.
The general manager at J Michaels Philly Deli says she’s relieved the victim did not turn out to be a shopper or an employee randomly targeted by a stranger. She says hearing the shooting was unsettling, but not knowing what happened or who fired the gun was worse.
“They were looking for the person and they told us to lock the doors so when that happens you know it’s a split second they could’ve walked into any one of these buildings acted like they were patrons and are now been caught I guess so that’s the scary part,” Cheryl Sealey, general manager J Michaels Philly Deli.
Taylor is currently being held in the New Hanover County Detention Center on a $1,005,200 secured bond.
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