- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2000

A masked gunman yesterday burst into a Capitol Heights, Md., restaurant near lunch time, fired several times and shot one diner before fleeing in a waiting car, police said.

The victim, the only person injured in the shooting, was identified by police as a 21-year-old man who lives in the District of Columbia. He was taken to a hospital, where he was in serious but stable condition last night.

The gunman and the driver of the getaway car were still at large last night. Police have no motive for the shooting.

Cpl. Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for Prince George's County police, said the gunman entered the White Corner Restaurant at 4401 Southern Ave. about 11 a.m. and opened fire.

The victim was sitting with his back toward the restaurant's barred front windows and doors, Cpl. Richardson said. Other customers were nearby.

One bullet struck the victim in the right side of his abdomen and another in the left wrist, police said. Police declined to identify the victim or the hospital where he is being treated because he is a witness to a crime.

Witnesses told police the gunman was wearing a ski mask when he and a driver fled in a green four-door Mazda Protege toward the District. Both the shooter and driver appeared to be adult men, according to police reports.

The dining counter stands about chest-high throughout much of the restaurant; it sustained heavy damage from bullets.

Southern Avenue separates Maryland from the District along the southeast border.

A man who identified himself as an employee of W&J; Liquors, which sits on the District side of Southern Avenue across from the Maryland eatery, said he first mistook the gunshots for banging or hammering at a nearby hardware store.

George Shim, owner of Southern Avenue Liquors said someone in the area told him about seven or eight gunshots were heard.

The neighborhood is a mix of businesses and residences and is heavily traveled.

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