WPD: ‘Aggressive’ panhandler shot by man during attack in downtown Wilmington
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police is investigating after they say an incident involving aggressive panhandling led to a shooting downtown Monday night.
According to WPD, officers responded to the 30 block of North Front Street around 9 p.m. to a report of shots fired. It happened at the corner of Front and Princess streets near Beer Barrio.
When officers arrived, police say they located the victim, Eric Gurtler, 33, of Belville, with minor injuries from a gunshot wound. Gurtler was reportedly argumentative and hostile with the officers. According to WPD, officers then located the suspect, Terrin Horton, 30, of Riegelwood, at his vehicle waiting for law enforcement.
Horton told officers Gurtler had been harassing him and demanding money, which led to a physical fight in the road. After that, police say Gurtler followed Horton to his car and attacked him. During the attack, Horton allegedly shot Gurtler.
Gurtler was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for his injuries.
A bartender who works across the street at Bourbon Street says he saw the whole thing.
“I heard the commotion, came outside, and a gentleman right behind me, right across the street, was being harassed in his car by this gentleman that was walking around,” Bourbon Street Bartender Justin Sartain said. “An altercation popped out and he came out of his car and shot the guy which grazed him on the arm.”
Gurtler is charged with breaking & entering a motor vehicle, aggressive panhandling, and simple assault. Police say he also had outstanding warrants for probation violation.
The investigation is on-going.