BATH TWP., Ohio - Bath Township police are reviewing surveillance video and looking for witnesses after they say a verbal altercation led to a 44-year-old former Navy SEAL getting shot March 28 at the West Market Plaza on Medina Road around 5:30 p.m.
The victim, Christopher Heben of Medina, told police he was nearly hit by a car backing up in the parking lot and that the occupants of the car then started shouting profanities at him.
He went inside the Mustard Seed grocery but, having forgotten his wallet, came back outside. That's when he saw the car that nearly ran over him earlier pull up. The next thing he knew, according to the police report, he'd been struck in the stomach.
Heben drove to the Bath Township Fire Department and on his way there, saw the three suspects pull on I-77 from Ghent Road.
"He indicated to us he actually plugged the hole in his abdomen to stop the bleeding as he drove to the station," said Bath Township Police Chief Mike McNeely.
He was treated by Bath fire personnel and taken to Akron General.
March 30, he posted a photo of himself recovering on his Facebook page . Last week, NewsChannel5 profiled Heben at work with Montrose Auto Group . He was featured twice in 2011, once as an expert describing the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden and then for training Hudson police .
Heben told police the suspects’ vehicle is a low-profile sports car painted a shade of gray that is “neither primer nor metallic.” It has a raised spoiler, performance muffler, black rims and black tint on the side rear and back windows.
A "brass projectile" was removed from Heben's abdomen.
Neighbors at the popular plaza were scared by the incident while also impressed by the SEAL.
"He knew what he had to do to survive. Someone else might not have been. I'm so glad that hopefully he will be okay and that they're able to bring those people to justice," said shopper Mary Zeinert.
Police urge anyone who witnessed the altercation, shooting or fleeing vehicle to call or write Detective Dan Lance at 330-666-3736 or firstname.lastname@example.org