Pawleys Island woman shot in front of toddler at Atlanta mall - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Pawleys Island woman shot in front of toddler at Atlanta mall

(Source: WXIA) (Source: WXIA)

ATLANTA (WXIA/WMBF) -- Police in Atlanta, GA are investigating after a Pawleys Island woman was shot in the stomach in the parking lot of Lenox Square Mall by two men who, police say, were trying to rob her of the merchandise they thought she had just bought inside the mall -- except she had not bought anything, according to NBC affiliate 11 Alive.

The 23-year-old woman was in her car with a man and their toddler when she was shot, 11 Alive reports. The man tried to drive her to Piedmont Hospital, and they were able to get as far as the parking lot of Benihana Restaurant on Peachtree Road, three and a half miles from the mall, and within sight of the hospital.  An ambulance arrived to take her the rest of the way to the E.R.

The man and woman -- who, police say, are visiting from South Carolina -- were shopping at Lenox Square.  And police say two men were stalking them.

"They [the two men] were following people they thought were going to make a purchase that would be worth taking," said Atlanta Police Sgt. Warren Pickard.  "They watched them go into Forever Diamonds store.  They watched them browse.  And then they followed them out, thinking they had made a purchase."

According to investigators, the man and woman got into the front seat of their car with their toddler, and that's when the two gunmen approached them.  One of the gunmen got into the back seat of the car.  Possibly because the man and woman had nothing for the gunmen to steal, police said, the man in the backseat shot the woman as she was half turned toward him.  She was shot in the upper stomach.  The two attackers ran away, and the man inside the car began driving the woman to Piedmont Hospital, almost getting there before having to pull over at Benihana Restaurant near the hospital.

“The young lady was obviously in medical distress,” said Carson Anderson, of North Carolina, who was in the restaurant’s parking lot at the time. “They moved her very quickly from the car into the ambulance.  They put her on a stretcher.  She did look conscious.  However, she was obviously in a tremendous amount of distress. They got her into the ambulance and very quickly moved her away.”

Police said the woman is 23 years old, and Wednesday night she was in surgery. Police said they thought she was going to be okay.

Investigators said the couple got a good look at the suspects who attacked them. Police said they hoped to release a detailed description and possibly video of the two attackers as soon as possible. 

Watch video and view the original article on 11alive.com here.

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