ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke man was arrested on one count of illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.
U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen announced the arrest Thursday as a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is an ongoing initiative to reduce drug and violent crime.
Tyrik Merchant's arrest stemmed from an incident at the 7-Eleven store at 3602 Williamson Road in Roanoke on or around Sept. 14, according to a criminal complaint.
Merchant allegedly approached a vehicle in the parking lot, drew a gun and fired at the driver from about 4 feet away. The driver of the vehicle allegedly fired back, hitting Merchant multiple times. Witnesses and surveillance cameras showed the incident, according to Cullen.
Roanoke police recovered Merchant's gun from the parking lot where he dropped it, according to Cullen.
Merchant was a convicted felon and therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm when this incident occurred, according to Cullen.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt.