Smoke shop shooter in Oceanside still at large; employee in ICU

Police say an unknown male entered Da Smoke Spot on Merrick Road Sunday afternoon. He proceeded to argue with a male employee and displayed a handgun.

News 12 Staff

Mar 7, 2022, 10:37 AM

Updated 829 days ago

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Police are searching for a man who they say opened fire at an Oceanside smoke shop, seriously injuring an employee.
Police say an unknown male entered Da Smoke Spot on Merrick Road Sunday afternoon. He proceeded to argue with a male employee and displayed a handgun.
The 26-year-old employee was shot in the chest by the suspect, who then fled the store. News 12 spoke with the victim's father, Keith Stevenson, of Baldwin, who said his son made it to the store next door and asked them to call an ambulance.
"He almost died in the store because he was by himself," he said.
Stevenson says his son is in the ICU after undergoing hours of surgery on Sunday to save his lung.
"He's young so the doctor said he is going to pull through this," Stevenson says.
Several business owners told News 12 off camera that Da Smoke Spot has been causing problems because the smell of marijuana has been driving customers away from their businesses.
People who live in the neighborhood found the shooting to be disturbing.
"It's really concerning, this so close to home," says Baldwin resident Joel Rodriguez. "It is overwhelming."
A photo of the assailant inside the smoke shop is being circulated to identify him. Police say he is 5'9'' with a light complexion and carrying a black and red duffel bag, with a black bag around his chest.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.


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