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Shots fired outside campus-area store

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 13, 1999

UA students and Tucsonans were sent scrambling for cover early yesterday morning after someone opened fire on a convenience store at North Park Avenue and East Speedway Boulevard, incident witnesses said.

No one was injured during the shooting, which occurred at about 3:10 a.m., said Sgt. Judy Altieri, a Tucson Police Department spokeswoman. Police could not locate the shooter, Altieri said.

Altieri added that information was scarce, but the incident sounded like a drive-by shooting. Witnesses could not confirm the origin of the shots last night.

Damages from the shooting was visible last night at the 7-Eleven, 1001 E. Speedway Blvd. A bullet flew through the store, leaving a hole in the glass and another in the cigarette display case.

A 7-Eleven worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he was helping three customers when he heard several shots and ordered everyone to the floor.

"I got down behind the counter and called 911," he said. "The rate of fire came so quickly. It sounded like a string of firecrackers."

The worker said he was not injured, but that he was struck with debris because of the bullet that entered the cigarette display case. He also said that reflections off the store's windows prevented him from seeing the shooter.

Workers at Subway Sandwich and Salads, 914 E. Speedway Blvd., described a chaotic scene as customers heard the gunfire and fled the area.

Subway's store manager Randy Garner, 20, said his eatery was packed with people when the incident occurred.

"There was just screaming and hollering," Garner said. "All you saw was people diving down back here."

Sam Yi, 19, said he was making sandwiches at Subway when someone came in the store and told him that the shooter was outside.

"Some guy came in here and said, 'some fool in the parking lot has a gun,'" Yi said. "Ten seconds later, I heard shooting."

He said some people tried hiding in the restaurant's bathrooms and all the customers dropped to the floor.

A University of Arizona psychology freshman who spoke on the condition that he remains identified only as Eric, said he was driving on Park when he saw a car turn the corner and heard the gunfire.

"All the people were running around and all the girls were screaming," the student said. "People in the Subway were freaking out."

Any witnesses to the incident are urged to contact Tucson police or call 88-CRIME.

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