Local News

Fayetteville Man Glad To Be Alive After Being Shot In Face

Posted May 7, 2004

— One of the victims of a multistate crime spree committed by three suspects said he is lucky to be alive.

Investigators in Cumberland County said Tahishei Harrison, Michael Philon and Mary Webb asked Alton Smith, who they knew, for a ride. Smith said the suspects later robbed him, shot him in the face and left him for dead.

"I don't know what I thought. I just didn't believe it. I just didn't believe it," he said.

The bullet pierced his nose and is still stuck in his jaw. Yet, he is still alive.

"I think I'm the luckiest man in the world. I appreciate being here," Smith said.

Authorities said that was not the only crime committed by the suspects. Investigators said the suspects went to Dunn and talked 73-year-old William Dennis into giving them a ride. Authorities said Dennis, a diabetic who knew the suspects, has not been seen since.

"He always encouraged people and he's a man who helps," said Delroy Dennis, William's son.

Investigators say the group was last seen trying to kidnap a woman in Maryland on May 5. The woman managed to escape.

Harrison surrendered to authorities in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday. She waived extradition and is expected to return to Fayetteville early Saturday morning. Authorities hope she can provide information about the other suspects' whereabouts.

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