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Two Arrested In Connection With West Side Convenience Store Shooting

Reported: Mar. 17, 2014 7:57 AM EDT
Updated: Mar. 17, 2014 6:43 PM EDT

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- A west side convenience store is once again at the center of a shooting investigation as two people are in custody in connection with the late night violence.

Police say Timothy Rush, 24, of Charleston turned himself in for the shooting late Monday afternoon. He is charged with malicious wounding and wanton endangerment. Sara Moreno was also arrested in connection with the investigation. Police say she is charged with wanton endangerment

Neighbors living near the 7-Eleven on West Washington Street say the store is a haven for criminal activity, especially late and night and into the early morning hours. The store is open 24/7.

Metro 911 officials say 194 calls have been made from the store just in the last year.

Around 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, gunshots were reported outside the store.

Eyewitness News obtained the 911 calls made after the shots rang out. "Shots fired at 7-11 on the west side!" said the caller.

"People started fighting and somebody grabbed a gun and people started shooting. I came to the back, called 911," the called said.

Gontorwon Toweh, 20, of Charleston is in critical condition after being shot in the chest and thigh. Toweh is no stranger to police. Just last year he was arrested after police say he sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant.

Police say Toweh got into a fight with Rush inside the store, when Morena jumped out of a car, ran inside the store and brandished a gun.

The fight then spilled into the parking lot, where police say Moreno handed to gun to Rush who then fired 13 shots before the two fled.

"There needs to something going on here to protect these people," says Danny Anderson who lives nearby. Anderson is also an EMS supervisor at the Charleston Fire Department. He would like to see the store closed between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

It's not the first time he's proposed the idea. Last April, surveillance video captured Antonio Collins shooting two men inside the store in what prosecutors called a completely random act of violence.

"If people need to be down here at 2 o'clock in the morning, I don't see the reason. They are usually probably buying beer or cigarettes," Anderson said.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says the city will be asking 7-Eleven to install walk up windows and a drop box for purchases during late night and early morning hours, but the final decision would have to come from the company.

"It's hard to prevent a crime like that from happening before it happens, you have to take preventative measures with the operation of whatever your business is," Jones said.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – Charleston police are investigating a shooting that occurred outside a convenience store on the West Side.

The incident occurred about 11 p.m. Sunday at the 7-Eleven in the 800 block of Washington Street West, according to a news release from the Charleston Police Department. The victim, Gontorwon Toweh, 20, of Charleston, was hit by gunfire in the chest and the thigh and was listed in critical condition at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital, police said.

Police said the suspect was inside the store purchasing some items. As the suspect opened the front door to the store to exit , the victim, Toweh, started punching the suspect. A fight then ensued inside of the 7-Eleven by the front doors. As the fight was going on, an unknown female exited a vehicle and ran inside the store. The unknown female then brandished a gun, and was pointing it at the victim and the suspect. The fight then poured out onto the parking lot of the 7-Eleven.

The unknown female then handed the gun to the suspect. Police said the suspect then fired 13 rounds at Toweh. The suspect and the unknown female then ran and got into a silver four-door car, unknown make and model, and fled the scene. Toweh was transported to the hospital.

During the shooting, a vehicle and diesel pump were struck by stray bullets. The diesel pump was immediately shut off by 7-Eleven management. The 7-Eleven was closed for several hours due to processing the crime scene.

Police said the male suspect is black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 150 to 170 pounds. He has a mustache and was wearing a black and gray jacket and jeans. The female suspect is light skinned, is
5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She was wearing navy sweatpants with the lettering “AERO” on front left leg and had on a navy blue and silver jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.

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