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Gyro employee shoots Wisconsin man during cocaine deal

October 1, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Gyro employee shoots Wisconsin man during cocaine deal

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An employee at Spartan Gyros in Madison, Wisconsin said he was angry that a man attempted to flee with cocaine without paying for it, and that is why shot the man on Monday.

A criminal complaint revealed that 37-year-old Eric C. Howard has been charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, using a dangerous weapon, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and carrying a concealed firearm.

The incident transpired at Spartan Gyros just before 2:30 p.m.

A criminal complaint added that the victim said that he was at the gas station to buy a kilo of cocaine, but he didn’t have the cash and decided to flee without paying, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The man told cops he heard a bang and felt the bullet before collapsing in the parking lot and threw the bag of cocaine as Howard approached him. He was terrified that the suspect was going to, “finish me and kill me.” The man said Howard picked up the drugs and walked back inside the store.

He was terrified that the suspect was going to, “finish me and kill me.” The man said Howard picked up the drugs and calmly walked back inside the store.

The victim noted that his friend had organized the drug purchase and that they had been at the gas station about 30 to 40 minutes before the shooting took place. The victim said Howard opened a cabinet or smaller fridge in the back room. Howard took out the bag of powder cocaine and weighed it to make sure it was the correct amount.

Eric Howard, 37, of Madison. Dane County Sheriff’s Office

Howard then gave him the bag of cocaine. He said he hesitated a bit because he had no cash with him or any weapon. He revealed he planned to run out the door and try to make it to his friend’s house.

The criminal complaint added that said Howard told an officer at the scene: “I shot him, he was trying to rob me.”

Howard admitted the gun was located under the counter in the store. He said that before the incident, he had never shot a gun in his life. He said he had previously handled this gun to “familiarize” himself.

A search warrant carried out at Spartan Gyros uncovered a white powdery substance, consistent with cocaine inside a medical bag. The bag and its contents were hidden above a refrigerator in the rear food prep area of the store.

A scale, two firearms, and ammunition were also recovered inside the restaurant.

An investigator said that Howard eventually confessed that over the course of a week, he sold cocaine roughly a dozen times. He said he sold cocaine in the price range of $100 up to the bag which he planned to sell on Monday for $1,300.

Howard said he had a gun hidden underneath his shirt while he talked to the victim. He added that the victim was holding the bag of drugs and that he ran towards the front door. He said he reacted and opened fire once.

The 34-year-old victim is in stable condition and is recovering at a local hospital.

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