Georgia lawmaker, traveling with storm relief money, is shot

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia lawmaker is recovering from a gunshot wound after he says he was shot behind an adult entertainment store while traveling with several thousand dollars in donations for storm relief efforts.

State Rep. Gerald Greene, 69, had stopped for gas in Columbus when he was shot in the leg Thursday, a spokesman for Georgia House Speaker David Ralston told statehouse reporters.

But Greene told WRBL-TV of Columbus ( ) he was in a parking lot behind Foxes Cinema, an adult entertainment store. Greene told the station he planned to visit a nearby liquor store where he buys lottery tickets when he was shot. A news crew from the station found fresh blood on the concrete behind the adult store, the station reported.

In an interview, Greene told the station that a man pointed a gun at his chest, demanded money and then shot him. The robber did not get the donations to the American Red Cross he had with him, he said.

A Columbus Police Department report lists the adult store's address as the location of the shooting and specifies that it occurred in a parking lot. The report says officers responded to a nearby liquor store. News outlets reported that Greene went to the liquor store after being injured.

The report also says Greene told police that his assailant was black, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and was holding a silver .22-caliber pistol and wearing a gray hoodie. The suspect made off with the lawmaker's $500 iPhone, which has a tracking device, the report says. The department didn't provide further information but says the investigation is continuing.

Greene, a Republican from Cuthbert in southwest Georgia, was released from a hospital Thursday evening. Phone messages left at his home and at his office by The Associated Press were not immediately returned Friday.

Portions of Greene's district were ravaged by tornadoes last weekend. Twenty people died across the Southeast, including 15 in Georgia. President Donald Trump has granted assistance for six counties that were severely damaged by the storms on Saturday and Sunday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday.

It was unclear why Greene would have been transporting a large sum of disaster relief money on his return home from the Georgia Capitol.

"Given this is an ongoing investigation, we would kindly refer all questions on the case to the police," American Red Cross spokeswoman Mindy Mizell said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Greene, who had attended Thursday's session of the General Assembly, has been in the House for 34 years and is chairman of the State Properties Committee.