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UPDATE | Charleston hardware store owner reacts to employee shot during shoplifting incident

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 11:16 AM EDT
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UPDATE 9/10/20 @ 1:26 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Charleston Police say an employee of a hardware store was shot after trying to stop a shoplifter.

It happened around 11:03 a.m. Thursday at Pile Hardware on Washington Street West.

Police say they found the victim, Robert E. Carpenter, 60, of Charleston with a gunshot wound to the leg.

The store owner, Bill Pile, says Carpenter saw the suspect stuff a lock and other small items into his pockets.

Police say Carpenter was attempting to stop the suspect, identified as Jeffrey Scott Smith, 37, of Charleston, outside of the store when he was shot by the shoplifter.

“They were chasing him down and then got him," Pile said. "He had two guns in his pocket. And they got one away from him and with the other one he shot ‘Bobby’ Carpenter, one of our long-time employees. Didn’t look too serious, but I don’t care. When you get shot, they’re all serious.”

Pile says the store policy is to monitor anyone who looks suspicious in the store and confront them and call police if they shoplift.

“We’ve never had anything like this or anything close to this happen," Pile says. “We’ve caught shoplifters for fifty years.”

Several witnesses were able to give a description of the suspect to 911.

An officer with CPD, who was dressed in regular clothing, was headed west in the 1700 block of 7th Avenue when he noticed a man who matched the description of the suspect.

Police say the officer told the suspect to stop, but he ignored him and went inside a business.

CPD called the business and were able to convince the suspect to come outside where he was taken into custody.

According to the criminal complaint, they found a shell casing, a fired bullet, a revolver and a small bag of suspected meth.

Smith is charged with malicious wounding, prohibited person in possession of a firearm and a convicted felon carrying a concealed weapon.

He’s being held in South Central Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Carpenter was taken to the hospital where he is listed as stable.

UPDATE 9/10/20 @ 12:25 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - An employee of a hardware store was sent to the hospital after a shooting.

Charleston Police says the victim is an employee of F. M. Pile Hardware Co in the 1600 of Washington Street West. He was shot in the leg.

Police say they have one person in custody.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

UPDATE 9/10/20 @ 11:32 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - One person has been arrested in connection to a shooting.

Dispatchers say one person has been taken to the hospital. There’s no word on their injuries.

Charleston Police is investigating.

It happened in the 1600 block of Washington Street West around 11 Thursday morning.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/10/20 @ 11:16 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Dispatchers say police are responding to a shooting.

It happened in the 1600 block of Washington Street West around 11 Thursday morning.

According to dispatchers, there is one patient.

No other information has been released.

WSAZ has a crew headed to the scene.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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