Two men robbed a man of his shoes and shot him in what police believe was a possible gang-related attack Friday in Silver Spring’s Long Branch Local Park.
A man was waiting in a parking lot at about 9 p.m. outside the Long Branch Community Center in the park on Piney Branch Road when other men approached him and asked him about his shoes, Lieutenant Rick Pelicano, a spokesman for the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, said Tuesday. The man was wearing Nike Cortez running shoes, and the men asked if he was part of the Cortez gang, which Pelicano said has a presence in the area and is known to wear that brand.
The man said he wasn’t part of the gang, and the men then stole his shoes, Pelicano said. The victim’s friend then arrived in a car to pick him up and an altercation broke out. One of the robbers shot the man whose shoes were stolen. He was struck in the arm, Pelicano said. The two robbers then fled on foot.
After police arrived, the man who was shot was transported to a local hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.
Pelicano said police believe the incident was gang-related because of the conversation the two suspects had with the victim. The shooting is still under investigation.