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'Person of interest' in shooting case released

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Wanted for questioning in connection with the shooting of an Albany business owner, Michael Rivers, 31, turned himself in to the Law Enforcement Center at about 7 p.m. Tuesday night, an Albany Police Department official said.

Rivers was on the street again at about 10 p.m., a cell phone text message from APD spokeswoman Phyllis Banks said. Police released no other information on the case, or Rivers, Wednesday.

Walter Phelps, 67, was shot in the shoulder at about 8 a.m. July 3 at his P&P Garden and Hardware store at 2500 N. Slappey Blvd. in what was apparently a robbery attempt.

Phelps is in fair condition at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. Fair condition means that vital signs such as blood pressure and heartbeat all fall within normal limits.

The patient is conscious but may be a little uncomfortable, and indications for a recovery are favorable, she added.

Police said the shooter was trying to rob the store while Phelps opened for business. The gunman shot Phelps in the shoulder with a chrome handgun and ran away.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477) or investigations at (229) 431-3288. The Spanish- speaking APD-COP Tip Line is (229) 434-2677.