Run-in at northeast-side gas station prompts exchange of gunfire; 3 hospitalized

LAWRENCE, Ind. - What started as two men bumping into each other at a Lawrence gas station ended in more than 20 rounds fired from two guns and three people hospitalized, police confirmed.

Lawrence police (LPD) said just after 1 a.m. Wednesday, two men were going into the Thorntons gas station at Shadeland Avenue and Pendleton Pike at the same time.

Investigators said the two men physically bumped into each other and an argument ensued.

One of the men reportedly kept walking, but then turned, gun in hand, and began to fire.

The other man had a gun on him, too, and he fired back, police said.

In all, more than 20 rounds were let loose by both shooters outside the gas station.

LPD said both men took at least one bullet to the stomach and leg in the exchange, and the girlfriend of the second man was shot in the hand amidst the chaos.

Lawrence police later identified the three as Wayne Blackman, 25, Maurice Bennett, 34, and Shirley Geralds, 38.

Blackman and Bennett were both listed as critical but stable at last check, around noon on Wednesday.

No other employees or bystanders were injured in the shooting, although police said they heard witness accounts of people running for cover once the gun battle began. Investigators said they found both firearms at the scene.

Police said they are still trying to figure out if these two men knew each other or had any prior connection before this morning's shooting.

The Thorntons gas station was closed Wednesday morning as the investigation and scene cleanup continued.

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