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A shooting Thursday night in the 300 block of Franklin Street highlights the problems in a neighborhood where law enforcement has received numerous complaints of drug activity, Roanoke Rapids police Chief Bobby Martin said.

“We definitely are having issues in the 300 block of Franklin,” he said. “We’re worried this is what it could potentially lead to.”

In a statement, Martin said police responded to the area shortly before 9:30 p.m. after receiving a report of shots fired at a moving car.

Officers learned there had been an altercation and from that dispute shots were fired. A victim was struck in the chest area while the suspect fled the scene.

The victim was transported for treatment.

Martin said he couldn’t say definitely whether the dispute was over drugs. He did say there is a variety of drugs being sold in the area. “When you have bad things happen it’s the good people who suffer. If you see something, call us. As we’ve said, if you’re selling drugs in the city limits of Roanoke Rapids, we are going to find you.”

Martin said investigators believe the person shot was the intended target.

He said investigators were able to develop a suspect in the case quickly and in the statement said the department continues its investigation to locate the person of interest.

The victim was listed in stable condition and was transferred to another medical facility.

The case is believed to be unrelated to a previous call of a dispute which occurred in the neighborhood Tuesday night. Officers at the time found no evidence of a fight but did arrest two people in a suspicious vehicle on marijuana counts.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the police department at 252-533-2810 or Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.

Meanwhile, Martin said in the statement, Sergeant R. Cross was responding to the call around 9:30 p.m. when he got behind a driver who was operating the vehicle erratically.

Cross observed the vehicle for a few blocks until the driver started drifting into the opposite lane. Cross conducted a traffic stop to check on the driver and to prevent a collision with another vehicle.

He noticed the strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. 

The driver was identified as Marcia James, 70, from the Roanoke Rapids area. 

Cross determined the woman was impaired and placed her under arrest. She was carried before a magistrate and charged with driving while impaired. 

She received a November 15 court date and was released to a responsible person.