83-year-old shot during carjacking

Emergency workers tend to an elderly shooting victim Wednesday.

April 6, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
Durham police are looking for two suspects in a carjacking that happened Wednesday morning.

According to police, they received a call about the shooting around 11:12 a.m. near downtown Durham.

Police say 83-year-old George Pratt was standing outside his car in the 1100 block of Franklin Street when two men in a green car drove up to him and stopped. One of the suspects got out of the car, shot Pratt in both of his legs, while a second suspect took the victim's burgundy 1994 Plymouth Acclaim.

"I seen him snatch him out, throw him out, jump in the car," an eyewitness said. "I couldn't believe it."

Pratt's grand-daughter Marlo Bates says her sister called to tell her their grandfather had been carjacked, in broad daylight.

"She was all upset, crying and she was like, granddaddy's been shot," Bates said.

Bates says her grandfather was waiting for a friend to come out of her house near Franklin Street and Alston Avenue, when all of a sudden two men approached his car.

"He said he did cooperate," Bates said. "He just thinks, because you know he has gout and it took so long, they kind of took it upon themselves to drag him out and shoot him."

A witness says he ran over to help Pratt as he waited for paramedics to arrive.

"He said, please help me and I helped him," the witness said. "I'm talking to him to keep him going."

Pratt, who's birthday was the same day as the attack, was taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment. Officials say he will have to undergo surgery and faces weeks of rehab in order to walk again.

"He said you know they hurt me, he said they really hurt me," Bates said. "What bothers me is his birthday is today, he's 83-years-old, if they had just asked, he would have given it to them, because a person that old, it's not much they're going to do."

Meanwhile, a short time after the altercation, officers located the suspects' green vehicle near a house on Currin Road in Durham County. Officers surrounded the house and a man was found inside, but he has not been charged in connection with the case at this time.

One suspect was described as a medium-complected black man, possibly in his early 20s, with his hair in braids. He was described as neatly dressed. Investigators do not have a good description of the second suspect.

Pratt's vehicle was located Thursday morning in the 200 block of North Hyde Park Avenue.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Cristaldi at 560-4281, ext. 29123 or CrimeStoppers at 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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