Victim killed in east Madison gas station shooting was targeted, police say

Man in car drove away, crashed, found dead

Madison police are investigating a homicide on the city’s east side early Wednesday.

Madison police said two men were seated in a car at the Mobile gas station at 3019 E. Washington Ave. at 2:07 a.m. when a gunman approached the vehicle on foot.

Police said the shooter fired multiple rounds into the vehicle, striking the driver multiple times. The wounded man accelerated out of the lot at a high rate of speed and headed east on East Washington Avenue. The car hit the Comfort Inn & Suites hotel at 4822 E. Washington Ave.

Victim killed in east Madison gas station shooting was targeted, police say

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the report. The passenger was not shot but suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash. He was taken to a hospital.

Police said the Dane County medical examiner will establish the cause and manner of death of the driver, but preliminary indications are that gunshot wounds caused his death.

Early information suggests the shooting was a targeted act of violence, although a specific motive wasn’t yet known Wednesday. Police said there was nothing to link the shooting to other recent gun incidents, however, the investigation is in its early stages.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014. Callers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

According to the report, officers found shell casings when they arrived at the scene.

Police said one of the men in the vehicle that was targeted is 31 and has no permanent address. The other man is a 23-year-old from Madison. It wasn’t immediately clear which man was killed.

Officers looked at security camera footage to see who was at the scene at the time of the shooting, police told News 3.

Police described the shooter as black, in his 20s, between 5 feet, 6 inches tall and 5 feet, 8 inches tall. He weighed between 140 and 150 pounds, had a thin build and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with the hood up.

Victim killed in east Madison gas station shooting was targeted, police say Victim killed in east Madison gas station shooting was targeted, police say

Neighbors say gas station not the problem

This neighborhood has seen its share of violence over the last year.

Residents in the Darbo Worthington neighborhood have been very outspoken about concerns for their safety. Last fall during a neighborhood meeting, residents asked for the gas station to be shut down, calling it “an open-air drug market.”

Cordae Wescmore lives in the neighborhood and heard gunfire from his house just blocks away from the shooting.

“At first I was hoping to God that they were firecrackers, but I knew they more than likely were gunshots. I just decided to stay down and hope to God that somebody called the police,” Wescmore said.

The gas station has been a troubled area for police. Madison police responded to the station 306 times in 2015 and 290 times in 2016. Madison police increased patrols in the neighborhood last fall to curb the violence.

“The gas station over here used to be very popular in the evenings but police have cracked down on that and it has been safer ever since,” said Carlos Madison, a resident in the neighborhood.

Gunfire and drugs sales have been a concern for neighbors for years. Nancy Nykl has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years. She believes the gas station isn’t the problem, it’s the people.

“They are turning this into little Chicago. Too many people move up here because they think it’s better and then they make it worse because they are bringing with them what they wanted to leave behind,” Nykl said..

Nykl avoids the area of the gas station. Other neighbors said they are not surprised to hear about a fatal shooting happening at the gas station. At the same time Wescmore said there has been recent progress that they don’t want to see undone

“I would say I feel safe, but every once in a while you get a few bad apples that come to this side of town and try to disrupt that peace,” Wescmore said.