Police: Locust Grove man shot outside home by thief

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A Locust Grove man who went to check on some noises he was hearing outside early Tuesday morning was shot three times, according to police. The homeowner, who is in his 50s, survived, but police are searching for the gunman who investigators believe has taken car break-ins to a new dangerous level.

It happened on Combs Street around 5 a.m. Most homeowners in the neighborhood know each other, so the violence came as quite a shock.

“He came outside to see what was going on, saw some people in his vehicle, yelled at them and they started shooting, so he ran back inside,” said the injured homeowner’s daughter who did not want her face shown or her name used.

She said her father came home the same day from the hospital.

“His ankle, his thigh and his arm, fortunately, no vital organs, no it missed all that thankfully. People are doing this in these small little towns where you’re supposed to feel safe,” she said.

Locust Grove Police said they have responded to numerous car break-ins in the neighborhood and others in recent weeks, but up until Tuesday morning, shots had not been fired.

“It definitely increases the danger both to the citizens and everyone involved and yes it is an urgent matter,” said Lt. Matthew Long.

Lt. Long said police are searching for at least one suspect who was wearing a hoodie who fled in a small boxed style sedan. He said patrols have been increased in the area as police keep a look out for the gunman or two who fired on an unarmed resident.

Neighbors said the crooks may not be as lucky the next time.

“You also got to defend your property, the tables could turn so they got away but the next house they go to who knows,” said Nathan Hammock, whose parents live next door to the victim who was shot.

Police asked residents to lock their doors and remove valuables from vehicles and to call police if they see anything suspicious around their vehicles.