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Men give different sides of gas-station shooting

Posted at 2:56 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 16:49:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS – A robbery attempt, or a misunderstanding? In an RTV6 exclusive, we're hearing from two men involved in a bizarre altercation at a gas station that's turning into a he-said-he-said investigation.

Alfonso Bowens is now out of the hospital, but still has a bullet lodged in his shoulder.

He was a passenger in a car that is now at the center of Monday’s dispute at a gas station at 69th Street and Michigan Road.

His cousin was at the wheel and more friends were in back. Bowens says they stopped to get gas and his friend went over to another customer to ask for a lighter.

“(I saw) them exchanging words and then they, like, got closer to each other,” Bowens said. “And then the man was reaching for a gun and my friend just tried to defend himself. He pushed him and ran away.”

Police say the car hit the customer, but Bowens says they were just trying to save their friend and get away. That’s when the customer fired two shots, one of which landed in Bowens’ back.

“I knew there were shots but I’m like, ‘This is crazy,’” Bowens said. “And I felt something hit my back, but I thought it was glass from the window. I didn’t know I was shot until I was halfway down the street.”

That customer with the gun spoke to us at RTV6 but did not want to go on-camera. He says after asking for a lighter, the man from the car followed him and reached into his pocket, trying to rob him. That customer says he opened fire in self-defense.

Police will only say they have contradicting statements and the case remains an open investigation.

Bowens says his friend did not try to rob anyone. But he understands that’s how it may have looked.

“I think he was just trying to defend himself in the moment,” Bowens said. “Maybe he thought… he just (saw) a car full of guys, maybe he thought he was getting attacked or maybe getting robbed or anything like that, so I just look at it as defense because they did get into a physical altercation.”

Police do have surveillance video of what happened, but will not release it and have not made any arrests yet.

The customer with the gun says he’s confident the video backs up his claims of a robbery.

This has been an update to our original story below.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- One person was shot after an attempted robbery Monday morning at a gas station on the city's northwest side.

Police say a customer was trying to fill his car up with gas near 69th and Michigan when a man tried to rob him.

There was a struggle and at some point, authorities say, the suspect's getaway car drove into the lot and ran over the customer.

Police say the suspect got into the car when the customer pulled out a gun and fired in self-defense, hitting another man inside.

The man who was shot walked into St. Vincent's and is in good condition.

Six people were taken in for questioning.

The customer who was run over had minor injuries.