'Burglary gone bad' leaves two with gunshot wounds

'Burglary gone bad' leaves two with gunshot wounds

August 28th, 2012 by Rachel Bunn in News

Three days after a burglary-related shooting in Rainsville, Ala., two store workers are in stable condition but will carry the reminders for the rest of their lives.

Josh Nance, 24, and Matt Whitt, 39, were shot in the back Friday night shortly after closing the Fred's Super Dollar store in Rainsville in what city Police Chief Charles Centers said appeared to be "a burglary gone bad."

Whitt has regained feeling in his legs, though the bullet will remain lodged in his vertebrae because it is too dangerous to remove it, Centers said Monday soon after returning from the hospital where the two men are being treated.

Nance is paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors are unable to remove the bullet from his back, as well, Centers said.

"[Nance has] lost what he's lost, but he's breathing, he's talking -- he seems to be in good spirits," he said. "They both seem to be in good spirits, considering what happened. The families are requesting that the community continue to pray for them."

No one has been arrested in the shooting, officials said.

According to reports, a man approached the door of the store just after employees had locked up for the night. After being told the store was closed, the gunman shot through the door, hitting Nance and Whitt. A third employee -- a cashier who was closing down her register -- was not injured and called police, according to Centers.

The gunman is described as about 5 feet 10 and of medium build. He is believed to have driven a red or maroon Honda or Mazda.

Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office confirmed that, among other things, various checkpoints had been set up over the weekend to search for the car.

Rainsville police have sent extra patrol cars to the area where the shooting occurred and will continue to patrol the area thoroughly until the gunman is found, Centers said.

"There seems to be a panic in the town -- things like this don't happen that often, and it has got the town in an uproar," he said. "We have our regular burglaries and meth busts, but as far as shootings, there's not one I can remember, and I've been here 18 years."

Anyone with information about the case may call the Rainsville Police Department at 256-638-2157 or the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office at 256-845-3801.

"We're hoping that eventually, we will get the right person to call in," Centers said. "We're glad to take the calls because it will eventually lead us to the gunman."