Police: Customer shot in Manchester barbershop was intended target
MANCHESTER - A 40-year-old man sitting in a barber's chair getting a haircut was the intended target of a gunman who opened fire Thursday afternoon, wounding the man in the leg several times, according to police.
Ismael Barreto was treated for gunshot wounds Thursday evening at Elliot Hospital and later released, according to police Capt. Nick Willard.
Police believe two other men were in on the shooting, acting as lookouts for the gunman.
The shooting happened about 5:20 p.m. Thursday at Andrew's Barber Shop, 262 Main St. Police said there were three other customers and the barber were in the shop when a Hispanic man in his late 30s or early 40s, entered and sat down to the left of the front door.
A second Hispanic man then entered, but stood in the doorway - almost "blocking it," police said. He kept his right hand over his chest, as if he had a weapon inside his jacket.
Then the shooter, also described as a Hispanic man, walked in with his face down and his head covered with a hoodie. He opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun.
"At that time, the man pointed the firearm at the customer getting a haircut and proceeded to fire it numerous times with several of those shots striking the victim in the leg. The barber and the other customers dove for safety," Willard said.
The gunman and the two men who entered before him all fled the shop after the shooting.
Barreto, the other customers and the barber waited for police to arrive.
Willard said witnesses believe the three men acted together. If they didn't, Willard said they should given police a call.
He said witnesses told investigators the first man, who didn't speak, sat down and was "looking around suspiciously" when the second man entered the shop. That man, described as "big" and "muscular" didn't say anything either as he stood near the doorway with his hand over his chest.
The "skinny" shooter in the over-sized clothes, however, spoke "perfect" English, the witnesses reported. Police did not disclose what it was the gunman said.
Willard said the shooting was not random and it was not a robbery since there was no demand for money or anything else.
He said the three men were all described as Hispanic. He provided the following descriptions of all three:
The first man was in his late 30s or early 40s and wearing a black leather jacket.
The second man was in his 30s, over six feet tall and "big" and "muscular." He was wearing a long, light gray puffy jacket and a winter hat.
The shooter was in his 20s, about 5-foot-9, skinny, wearing "big clothes" and had a hoodie covering his head.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 668-8711.