Shooter Charged

Published 5:18 pm Saturday, July 24, 2010

A suspected gunman who kept police at bay for three hours after shooting a motel owner in the chest has been charged with attempted murder.

Donald Gregory Wilson, 49, of 910 Jernigan Road in Brewton, was on probation for charges in Santa Rosa County, Fla.

The incident began when Colonial Manor motel owner Vusha Patel and her daughter went to speak to Wilson, who had been staying at the hotel, about whether he would stay another night. Wilson allegedly shot Patel in the chest with a small caliber rifle, Police Chief Monte McGougin said.

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When police arrived, Wilson had switched to a different room at the hotel and refused to leave.

The Brewton Police Special Response Team surrounded the motel room, and Wilson shot at officers at least five times with the small-caliber rifle.

“He was just shooting,” McGougin said. “I don’t think he was targeting anyone.”

Police threw two tear gas bombs into the room, but Wilson did not respond. Eventually he was taken into custody without incident.

Online court records show Wilson was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting and officer with violence in 2009 in Santa Rosa County. In December he was placed on probation for those charges.

McGougin said Wilson would likely go to trial in Escambia County and also be returned to Florida, where his probation will be revoked.

Police had assistance during the incident from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department and Alabama Wildlife Department, McGougin said.

“But it was our deal; we were in control the entire time,” he said.

Law Enforcement agents surround a room at the Colonial Manor Motel in Brewton Wednesday after a lone gunman barricaded himself in after shooting the motel owner in the chest. The standoff ended three hours later. | Photo by Lisa Tindell