Two men were shot in separate burglaries Thursday in Garland County, one at a business in Mountain Pine and the other at a residence on the county's north side.
The first incident, which occurred at 1:09 a.m. at the Mountain Pine Corner Store, 2702 Mountain Pine Road, involved an exchange of gunfire between the manager of the store, Sunny Singh, and an alleged burglar, identified as Cody Allen Willis, 23, of Jessieville.
Willis, who was struck in the face by a shotgun blast, was released from the hospital Friday afternoon and taken to the Garland County Detention Center on felony charges of aggravated robbery, punishable by up to life in prison, commercial burglary, punishable by up to 10 years, and aggravated assault, punishable by up to six years.
He remained in custody Friday in lieu of zero bond and is set to appear Jan. 9 in Garland County District Court.
Singh told The Sentinel-Record Friday he just wants to know why Willis, a former employee, would attempt to burglarize his store.
"I still ask myself why he did it," Singh said.
Singh said that early Thursday morning, after getting dinner at Taco Bell with a friend, they returned to the store to pick up Singh's truck, which was parked in the lot. When they arrived, Singh heard the motion sensor alarm sounding inside the store.
"I get out of my truck and unlock the store to turn off the alarm. Next thing I know I see a person behind the register taking the change, opening my register up. I ran behind the counter and grabbed the shotgun," Singh said.
Concealing himself behind a stack of 30-packs of beer, Singh said he ordered the person to drop his 9 mm handgun and the money and to get out of the store.
"He fired at me first. Then, I fired back at him. It caught him in the face. I told him, 'Put everything down or I'll shoot again.' He put his gun to the side and then started crawling out to the parking lot," Singh said.
Once outside, Singh retrieved another 12-gauge shotgun from his truck and gave it to his friend while he re-entered the business to check for any other burglars.
Shortly after 1 a.m., Garland County sheriff's deputies arrived on scene and Willis was transported to CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs for treatment of apparently non life-threatening injuries.
Sheriff's investigators recovered two 12-gauge shotguns and a .45-caliber handgun, all of which belonged to Singh, and a 9 mm handgun that Willis had allegedly possessed.
Singh said Willis worked for him for about one month as a part-time employee.
Sheriff's investigators are searching for suspects in connection to a second shooting Thursday evening that occurred near Fox Pass Cutoff.
According to a news release, at approximately 6:45 p.m., deputies responded to a shooting at an address on Heavenly Place. The resident said he had encountered several suspects inside his home, attempting to burglarize it, and one suspect shot him.
The suspects fled the scene before law enforcement arrived.
LifeNet personnel determined the resident had non life-threatening injuries and he reportedly refused to be transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Investigators will work through the holidays to try and identify the suspects, according to the release.
Anyone with information should call the department's anonymous tip line at 501-622-3674.
Local on 12/24/2016