‘St. Pete Times’ Reporter Shot Covering Katrina

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A reporter for the St. Petersburg Times was shot and wounded while covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Baton Rouge, La., the newspaper said Tuesday.

Marcus Franklin, 34, was shot on Monday night. He was released after being treated at the Baton Rouge General Hospital. Doctors decided that removing the bullet was too risky, the newspaper said.

Franklin had been reporting on evacuees returning to their homes in Jefferson Parish near New Orleans. He said he was on his way back to his motel in Baton Rouge at 11:30 p.m. when he stopped at a stop sign at a dimly lit intersection in a residential area.

He had his windows rolled down and his air conditioning off to save gas. Suddenly a man with a black revolver appeared and asked how much money he had, Franklin said.

“I looked at the gun sort of in disbelief,” Franklin said. “That’s when I heard a pop … It sounded like the proverbial firecracker.”

After driving off he realized he had been shot in the stomach. He called 911 for police and emergency medical technicians. He spent the night in the hospital and was to be flown back to St. Petersburg.

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