When Deborah Collins and her husband Timothy Collins heard a loud bang outside their North Kent Street home about 10:35 p.m. Tuesday, they thought it might be fireworks until Timothy Collins saw Lorenzo Coles Wheeler lying on his stomach in front of a parked car at 312 N. Kent St.
Deborah Collins said she ran to Wheeler and called 911 when she realized he'd been shot. According to Collins, Wheeler was by the driver's side tire of a Chevrolet V6. She said Wheeler was gasping for breath and told her he was OK, but he was bleeding and clearly in pain. After running back to her home to get her phone and call for help, Collins said she returned and protected Wheeler from getting hit by passing cars until police arrived about 10:40 p.m.
"I didn't want that man to get hit," Collins said. "I tried to do everything I could to keep the cars away from him."
Police said Wheeler, a 30-year-old city resident, died at Winchester Medical Center.
The shooter remained at large early this afternoon, according to Winchester Police Department Chief John Piper.
From earlier today: On Tuesday at 10:38 p.m., the Winchester Police Department responded to the 300 block of North Kent Street for a male laying in the roadway. When officers arrived on scene, they found the male, later identified as Lorenzo Wheeler, 30 years old, of Winchester, in the roadway near his rental vehicle. He was suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso. Wheeler was transported to the Winchester Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his wounds.
Detectives from the WPD processed the scene for evidence, which included Wheeler's rental vehicle, a 2019 Hyundai passenger car. A motive and suspect(s) are unknown at this time, and the investigation remains active and ongoing.
This is the first homicide for the Department in 2020. Anyone with information is asked to contact the WPD at 540-662-4131 or anonymously through the P3 tip app or by calling 540-665-TIPS.