A man calmly walked into a QuikTrip on Buford Drive in the early morning Monday and bought a bottle of juice moments after he was involved in a verbal and physical altercation that involved gunfire in the gas station’s parking lot.

The Lawrenceville police have been looking for him — and three other men involved in the aggravated assault incident — ever since. On Friday, the city released photos of the men and their vehicles on its Facebook page in hopes that members of the public can help them find the men.

Det. Scott Pendergrass said the incident began as an argument that escalated into gunfire at the QuikTrip at 765 Buford Drive just after midnight on Monday. He added it involved occupants of a black 2010-2013 Camaro and a blue late 1990s or early 2000s Ford Explorer.

The argument began in the gas station after the driver of the Camaro looked at the passenger from the Ford Explorer, who Pendergrass said was talking loudly in the store, according to the detective.

“At one point, (the passenger) looks over at the driver of the Camaro and says, ‘What are you looking at?,’ and they begin to exchange words,” Pendergrass said. “Eventually one of them says something to the effect of ‘come outside and we’ll handle this,’ and the driver of the Camaro puts down a bottle of juice that he was planning to buy and goes outside.”

Once they were outside, Pendergrass said they got into a physical altercation, and that the driver of the Camaro ran back to his car and pulled out what looked like an automatic, SKS-style rifle and pointed it at the Explorer. Meanwhile, the passenger in the Explorer reached out a window and over the roof and shot at the Camaro’s driver, according to the detective.

A police report lists a witness telling police he heard two gunshots, which were attributed to the Explorer. Pendergrass added that two bullets hit the QuikTrip building and were lodged in the brick. The report listed two nine-millimeter shell casings as being found near a gas pump.

“The Explorer jumped a curb, drove through a grass gully and turned left onto the roadway as it sped off,” Pendergrass said.

The police report states the vehicle headed toward Ga. Highway 316 once it got onto Buford Drive.

The detective said the driver of the Camaro then went back inside the store, picked up the bottle of juice and went to the cashier to pay for his drink.

“He asked the clerk, who was obviously shaken by the ordeal, if he was OK and paid for his drink as if nothing happened,” Pendergrass said. “The whole time, the clerk was on the phone with 911 dispatcher, and the guy didn’t seem to care. It seemed like it was no big deal to him and he was very nonchalant about it.”

Pendergrass said the police were not aware of any injuries from the exchange of gunfire, adding they checked local hospitals but could not find any indication that anyone matching the description of the suspects showed up after the shooting.

Anyone who has information about the men involved in the shootout is asked to call Pendergrass at 770-670-5136 or send an email to spendergrass@lawrencevillepd.com.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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