Tuesday January 1, 2013

MANCHESTER -- A Manchester man is in "critical but stable condition" following what he claims was a drive-by shooting Sunday evening, according to the Manchester Police Department.

But Police Chief Michael Hall says investigators are still trying to determine how 27-year-old Donald Ely-Gardner was shot, calling his account "problematic."

Gardner was taken to the Manchester Police Department at about 8:30 p.m. by a friend, Bill Nichols, who Gardner had called soon after the shooting took place near the Route 7A roundabout near Shaw's market.

Hall says it appears Ely-Gardner was shot in the chest with a small caliber handgun.

"He is going to live," the police chief said. "He is in critical but stable condition and at this point we are hopeful that we will have the opportunity to discuss exactly what took place."

Later in the day, Hall released a statement updating the department's progress with the investigation.

"Throughout the day police continued to search the area where the shooting is believed to have taken place," Hall wrote. "Police have interviewed additional individuals and obtained more information which is problematic in establishing the event as described by the victim." "At this point it is still under investigation," added Hall. "We are still processing the crime scene."

Hall said members of the Manchester Police Department and a Vermont State Trooper immediately rendered aid once Gardner arrived at the police department until the Manchester Rescue Squad arrived on the scene.

The rescue squad transported Gardner to Southern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington and he was then airlifted to Albany Medical Center where is listed in stable condition, according to Manchester Police.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Manchester Police at 362-2121.