The Warner Robins Police Department is investigating after someone fired a shot into Gottwals Books store on Russell Parkway. Yvonne Thomas spoke with the CEO and business owner, Shane Gottwals, who's calling this incident a “random act of stupidity.”
“This was our first location. We started on one side and expanded two times since then,” said Gottwals.
It's the original store where the business began 10 years ago. Gottwals says Gottwals Books aims to be a family space to read and learn. “We've seen basically no real crime at any of our locations.”
But Monday night was a different story. ”A gentleman was trying to come into the store after we're already closed. The doors were locked, the registers were shut down,” said Gottwals.
Gottwals was not at the store then, but he says moments after employees turned the man away, at least one bullet came crashing into the front window. “It was just within ten feet of where our employees were standing,” said Gottwals.
Jennifer Parson with Warner Robins Police says. no one was hurt. She says after shots were fired, a man wearing dark clothing drove away in a silver Chevy Trailblazer. “There's a lot of confusion about who this person is. It just shows the evil in this world,” said Gottwals.
For Gottwals, the battle between good and evil goes beyond the stories on the shelves, and it's one challenge that he and his business are not backing down from. “It's not going to stop us from opening back up. He's not going to have any influence on our business.”
For this store, one of their weapons against crime is found in every corner because knowledge is power. “This just goes to show how much more profitable this world could be if people would just pull out a book and read instead of pulling out a pistol,” said Gottwals.
Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to call the Warner Robins Police Department at 478-302-5378.