Gas station owner: Shooting of man was quick, deliberate

'This wasn't a random act,' police tell 69 News

READING, Pa. - The search is on for the person who opened fire on the parking lot of a gas station in Reading, shooting a man in the head.

The shooting happened shortly before 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Citgo station at North Third and Buttonwood streets.

"He's talking to another person with him, and another car come and come inside and shot him, and just left. Nothing else," said Rashmi Padel, the owner of the gas station.

Padel said the attack was quick and deliberate. He said the gunman, who was driving a small, black car, didn't stay at the gas station for long.

"He shot [him] from inside the car," he said.

The 35-year-old victim, whose name has not been released, was then taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Moments before the shooting, Padel said the victim grabbed a bottle of water from a refrigerator and bought a carton of cigarettes from the cashier, but little did he know, once he walked outside, a bullet would come straight for him.

Authorities said they believe he was the intended target.

"This wasn't a random act," said Capt. Matthew Schappell, Reading Police Department. "It wasn't your typical, when people think of random drive-by shootings when people are spraying bullets outside. That wasn't this situation."

Schappell said his officers have already tracked down a key piece of evidence

"We're not searching for the vehicle anymore. We've located the vehicle, but we can't really comment any further on the vehicle or its owner or occupants," he said.

Schappell said although this was a targeted shooting, residents in that neighborhood still need to be cautious

"There's always danger to the public when people are firing shots, especially in an environment like ours where there's so many people around," said the captain.

At last check, authorities said the victim was in critical condition at Reading Hospital.

They are asking for anyone with information to contact them or call Crime Alert Berks County via anonymous text to 847411, starting the message with keyword alertberks. Tips can also be reported by calling 877-373-9913. A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

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