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Teen shot in back during robbery
Victim, 19, remains in serious condition

COVINGTON - A 19-year-old Newton County man remains in serious condition today after he was shot in the back late Tuesday night, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Lt. Bill Watterson said the man's companions called 911 and reported the shooting that occurred about 10:15 p.m. on Hunter's Trace in the Hunter's Ridge subdivision, off Campbell Road in southern Newton County.

NCSO investigators were told the victim was leaning inside a window of a vehicle occupied by a man and a woman when two black men wearing all-black clothing approached them with guns. The three said they were then made to lie down on the ground, at which time they were robbed. They said it was at this point that the 19-year-old was shot in the back just above the lumbar area near the kidneys, Watterson said.

"The gist of the story we've been told is true, but there are some things we looking into right now," Watterson said. "The case is by no means cold, and we hope to identify the suspects and make arrests within the next 48 hours."

The only description given of the suspects other than they were black and dressed in black was that one was heavy set and the other skinny.

An air ambulance was flown to the scene, landing in a field behind Stewart Baptist Church, and the victim was transported to Atlanta Medical Center.

"He has some paralysis and was immediately taken into surgery," Watterson said.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.