Elderly man shot in neck

Published 1:15 am Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A 72-year-old Selma man remains in serious condition, and likely paralyzed for life, after being shot in the neck late Sunday.

According to officials with the Selma Police Department, officers were called to a reported gunshot victim near Race Street and Shelley Avenue.

“Upon arrival, there were residents who flagged them down around the 3100 block of Shelley Avenue, telling them a man had been shot while he was standing outside his vehicle,” Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said. “Once there, they did find the victim lying on the floorboard of his vehicle at which time officers found the victim had suffered a gunshot wound to his neck area.”

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The victim, Willie James Thomas, had reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of his neck and was immediately transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center and then to Montgomery.

Riley said reports showed the bullet traveled through the neck and did “severe damage to the vertebrae. It appears right now he is paralyzed to most parts of his body,” Riley said.

Riley said the department has a person of interest they want to talk to in connection with Sunday’s shooing.

“Right now, we want to talk to Carlos Hyatt,” Riley said. “He is a black male — in his mid-20s — and a Selma resident.”

Riley said an argument reportedly took place ahead of the shooting and that it appears a handgun was the weapon used in the shooting.