Richmond County sheriff's investigators say a kidnapped man was shot at least three times Tuesday morning while deputies chased his captors in an incident believed to be drug-related.
The victim, identified as Antwan Israel Crawford, left a club and was going to meet a friend in Fleming Heights early Tuesday when two masked men abducted him and took him to his home in the 2100 block of Trotters Way in the Pepperidge subdivision, according to sheriff's Lt. Calvin Chew.
Crawford, 30, told deputies the masked men wanted to rob his mother and dropped him at his Trotters Way home to grab the keys to her house. Investigators think the abductors thought the man kept some valuable items at his mother's home.
While Crawford was inside his home, his girlfriend became suspicious and notified authorities about 4:15 a.m., sheriff's Capt. Scott Gay said.
Deputies located the victim's black Chevrolet Blazer about three miles away on Fairington Drive. Chew said the victim was shot once in the face and at least two more times before the suspects jumped out of the vehicle, leaving it to roll down a hill, through a yard and into a car parked in a driveway.
The victim, who was bound by his kidnappers, was discovered crawling out of the back seat when deputies arrived on the crash scene. He was transported to Medical College of Georgia Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.
He told authorities he did not know the identity of the two masked men who shot him.
The incident is probably drug-related, Investigator Tim Owen said Tuesday morning at the crime scene on Fairington Drive, off Tobacco Road.
A nearby resident, Kelvin Thomas, said he was awakened by the noise and came outside to find his front yard illuminated with the blue lights of squad cars. Tire tracks crossing his yard led to the Blazer stopped in the driveway across the street.
By daylight, Thomas said he was puzzled by the chain of events that investigators had described to him. From his perspective, there are two sets of tire tracks crossing his yard -- not one -- and the mail that spilled out of his broken mailbox was splattered with blood.
Staff Writer Luke Thompson contributed to this article.