Local News

Concerns Over Sniper Shootings Have Many Heading South For Gas

Posted October 21, 2002

— Right now, gas stations are one of the busiest places to work in the northern part of North Carolina. In Halifax County, workers claim they have seen as much as a $1,500 increase in sales per shift. Much of it, they claim, comes from customers who live in Maryland and Virginia who are concerned over recent shootings.

Al Forrest and his family live in Glen Allen, Va., which is 15 minutes away from Ashland where a man was shot Saturday night as he left the Ponderosa Restaurant. Police believe that shooting is connected with the D.C.-area sniper.

Forrest was visiting relatives in New Bern this weekend, so as a precaution, he decided to gas up his truck in North Carolina, so he will not have to stop in Virginia.

"You don't want to admit that, that this man changes the way you think, but he does," he said.

Herbert Martin said Saturday's shooting really has him concerned because he works 10 minutes away from Ashland. He admits he will make some changes in his daily routine, but he wonders if it will be worth it.

"Do you tell your wife and your daughter don't go to the shopping center anymore? Don't go the Home Depot or Lowe's. Don't go to the grocery store because this person doesn't care where it's at or how many people are around him," he said.

Lieutenant Mike Casey of the Halifax County Sheriff's Department said deputies are patrolling normally, but are on the alert for any sniper attacks.

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