Shots fired in hospital parking lot

Published 7:10 pm Friday, March 10, 2017

By Melanie Ruberti

Public Safety Reports

LaGrange Police are still trying to determine who fired several shots in the parking lot of WellStar West Georgia Medical Center Thursday night.

Officers did not find a suspect when they initially checked the campus.

However, when hospital security reviewed surveillance video with LPD officers, they noticed a person “acting suspicious” in the parking lot around the time the 911 call was made for shots fired in the area, said LPD Sgt. William Nelson.

Officers also discovered several bullet casings near the same area, Nelson added.

“At this point the incident has been documented, but is not being investigated as a ‘shooting,’ in the sense that someone was being shot at,” Nelson said. “We (LPD) are not even certain if the shell casings found (at the scene) were, in fact, related to the initial call for service.”

WellStar West Georgia Medical Center posted a statement about the incident late Thursday night on their Facebook page.

“All is well and everyone is safe at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center after shots were fired in the parking lot earlier tonight,” the statement read. “The person who is suspected of firing the shots is no longer on campus, and the LaGrange Police Department is currently conducting an investigation with the assistance of our security team. The hospital is open and accepting patients tonight, and our security officers, as well as LaGrange police officers, are on campus to ensure the safety and security of our patients, visitors, staff and physicians.”

Felony shoplifting

The manager of a Dollar General at 1811 Vernon Road told LaGrange Police officers a man stole 18 cans of cleaning solution by shoving them down his pants.

The suspect, known to the manager as “The Trashcan Bandit,” was allegedly caught several years ago trying to steal cleaning supplies by concealing them in a trash can, the report read.

The manager stated the man walked into the store on Wednesday with baggy pants tucked inside his boots, according to the report.

When the officer and manager reviewed surveillance video, they noticed the man walk into the dish detergent aisle and places several bottles in a basket, the report stated.

Later on video, the suspect is spotted putting several unknown items in his pants.

The manager told officers she noticed there were 18 bottles of Ajax dish detergent missing from the same aisle the “Trashcan Bandit” was walking down earlier in the day.

Police discovered the man’s real name – and that he has six prior convictions for shoplifting.

An arrest warrant was issued for the man. He is being charged with felony theft by shoplifting.

All information in this report is gathered from official law enforcement and public safety reports and releases. It is the policy of the Daily News to list the names of people charged with felonies. Reach the LaGrange Daily News at 706-884-7311.