It was like a scene from some post-modern comedy; the dark irony was so thick it’s hard to imagine reporter Sean Delancy NOT being Steve Buscemi. It even involves a pregnant girl, and takes place in front of a no-name department store in a medium-sized city in a backwoods state full of right-wing gun nuts. If this story were any more hipster, it would have shown up wearing Buddy Holly glasses and a cold sore.
On Friday, Delancy stood interviewing a woman outside of Young’s Department Store in Charlotte, West Virginia. The subject of the interview was a seemingly random shooting that had taken place in the parking lot of the store the previous night. The victim, Patrick Anderson, tried to drive himself to the hospital, but only made it as far as the 7-Eleven before stopping for a blue raspberry slushie and immediate triage.
The pregnant woman on camera, he face now blurred, was a witness to the last night’s shooting.
Just as Delancy started the camera rolling, but before she could spell her name, the woman was witness to another shooting…very nearly her own. Three shots rang out, one close enough to the pair that you can clearly hear the sizzling rip of a very near miss. Said Delancy:
“When I heard the first shot, my whole body got stiff, because I knew exactly what it was. It was only when I got behind the car that I realized how close it was, because you could hear that zip.”
And that is probably the appropriate question.
Because this isn’t the first time this has happened in West Virginia…this year.
In July, almost the exact same scene played out as WVVA reporter Annie Moore stood outside of an apartment building where a body had been found shortly before. Without warning, a shot rang out from a passing, blue pickup truck and came close enough to her head that she felt its passage. That shooter was never caught, and nobody was hurt.
The same is true in this case on both counts. Delancy reports seeing four people fleeing from the scene, but doesn’t know who they were or which one fired the shots. Police are clueless as well at the moment about the perpetrators of all three shootings. On the plus side, the Charleston Police Department does have brand new cars and the latest license plate recognition technology. So, rest assured, they’ll be on you in a second for rolling through that stop sign.
Just not so much for the drive-by shooting.
Steve…this is your cue.