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The Pulaski man was driving home late Sunday when he was struck in the neck.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Two teenage boys are facing criminal charges after a Pulaski man was shot in the neck with a pellet weapon while he was driving home around midnight on Sunday.
Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis said a 54-year-old man had exited Interstate 81 in his vehicle and was traveling north on Virginia 99/Count Pulaski Drive when he passed a service center and felt a sharp pain in the right side of his neck.
Both front windows of the vehicle were down at the time, Davis said. The man was unsure of what had happened and continued home. He was later taken to the emergency room, where it was discovered that he had a wound believed to be from a pellet gun, Davis said.
The injured man’s name was not immediately released by the sheriff’s office, but a family member identified him as James Elswick.
Elswick was listed in serious condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Monday, according to spokesman Eric Earnhart.
Davis said the boys, ages 15 and 16, were both visiting family near that area when the incident occurred. One is from Montgomery County and the other is from Carroll County, but it was not immediately clear which boy was from which county. A pellet rifle has been recovered, and the two now face criminal charges through juvenile services, Davis said.
“This appears to be an isolated and random incident,” Davis wrote in an email, adding that no additional information will be released due to the boys’ ages.
The sheriff’s office was notified of the injured man by emergency personnel at LewisGale Hospital Pulaski early Monday morning. The man was taken to Roanoke for further treatment.
In an interview Monday, Elswick was identified by Ken Stevenson, who said he is Elswick’s cousin.
Elswick underwent surgery Monday morning at Roanoke Memorial, was placed on a respirator and will most likely be in the intensive care unit for some time, Stevenson said.
Elswick works a night shift at Friendship Retirement Community in Roanoke and regularly drives home to Pulaski late at night, Stevenson said.
Stevenson, formerly of Roanoke, said he now lives in Florida and found out about the incident from his mother. He said Elswick grew up in Roanoke but moved to Pulaski after getting married.
Davis said the sheriff’s office plans to release the man’s name after investigators interview him again.
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