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UPDATED 1/10/11, 3:30 P.M.
HILLSVILLE — A test drive turned into an attempted carjacking on Monday night in Hillsville, according to police, leaving the suspect in intensive care with gunshot wounds and facing an attempted murder charge.
Police were called to a parking lot at Dawn Auction Co. on East Stuart Drive in Hillsville around 5:30 p.m. after receiving reports of an exchange of gunfire.
They found a man shot multiple times after he allegedly tried to steal a car.
Police Chief Steve Williams confirmed that the car owner’s brother shot the suspect with a .22 caliber revolver. The suspect allegedly fired at the other two men with a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Police identified the suspect as 23-year-old Richard Austin Williams of Woodlawn, who was in intensive care at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Monday night.
The police chief said a warrant was issued charging Williams with attempted first-degree murder. The warrant will allow Williams to be held in custody at the hospital. Other charges are pending. Police planned to meet with Carroll Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan Lyons on Tuesday morning.
Williams was in stable condition on Monday night, after being transported by Carroll County EMS ambulance. With fog creating near zero-visibility conditions, medical helicopters were unable to fly.
The police chief said a black Chevrolet Impala parked at Dawn Auction was for sale, and a potential buyer had contacted the owner to look at it. The owner and his brother met Williams Monday and went along with him for a test drive.
“When they got back, the man said he wanted the car and pulled a weapon,” the police chief said. “A struggle ensued in the parking lot.”
The chief said Williams fired his weapon, and the car owner’s brother returned fire. Williams was shot multiple times.
The brother sustained a minor injury to his hand in the struggle — not a gunshot wound — and the car owner was unharmed. The brother was treated at the scene by Carroll County EMS.
Police did not release the name of the car owner or his brother by press time Monday night. More information was expected to follow on Tuesday morning.
No charges are expected to be filed in the suspect’s shooting.
Police obtained a search warrant for the car Williams drove to Dawn Auction, a silver Chevy Tahoe.
The chief said both handguns were recovered at the scene.
The suspect’s name was not released until late Monday night, because police had to confirm his identity. Williams reportedly did not give the car owner his real name.
Hillsville Police and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office cordoned off the back parking lot at Dawn Auction for several hours, along with the sidewalk near the streetside parking spaces where the shooting took place. A mobile command center was set up behind the business.