"Shootout at the Old Town Center" still fresh | RecordCourier.com

"Shootout at the Old Town Center" still fresh

by Sheila Gardner Staff Writer

The danger may be over, but Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dave Bolick still has the bullet holes in his office to remind him of what some are already calling “the shootout at the Old Town Mall.”

Law enforcement officers exchanged gunfire Wednesday with Troy Allen Bacon, 33, during an incident which occurred shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Gardnerville, when Highway 395 was busy with early evening traffic.

“The bullet came through the outside wall, through two interior walls, hit the wall in the hall and fell on the floor,” Bolick said. “We were totally closed, but Alice Duvall, our part-time person, found it Wednesday morning. We just left it where it lay and called the sheriff’s office who came and picked it up.”

There is also a bullet hole right under the “R” in the chamber sign painted on the outside of the building.

“When it comes through the interior walls, it splits stuff apart,” Bolick said. “I had stuff all over my desk Wednesday and I had fun cleaning it up.”

Dwight Mac Hutta, owner of Mac Signs, found himself outside trying to stop traffic as the shooting unfolded.

“I heard three shots and I went outside and said, ‘Heck. What was that?’ The deputies were already over there. That lady (NHP Trooper Amy Del Sodato), she was the hero. If I ever get to meet her, I am going to tell her she was really cool. She just zipped up there,” Mac Hutta said.

Mac Hutta said he ran out on Highway 395 and stopped southbound traffic.

“There were two ladies in the first car, and I said, ‘Just hold it right there.’ Then, I heard a whole bunch of other shots and ducked down beside the lady’s car.”

n ‘I bet that’s Troy.’ Mac Hutta said a man who lives in the Oxoby Trailer Park came out of the laundromat and said, “I bet that’s Troy. He’s been beating on his mom all day.”

Mac Hutta said three or four minutes passed before the shooting was over and Bacon had been taken to the Carson-Tahoe Hospital by paramedics. The suspect was wounded in the lower leg, close to the ankle. No one else was injured.

“I really didn’t think about what I was doing. I just did it,” Mac Hutta said. “But when I got home my wife yelled at me.”

Mac Hutta, who painted the old-fashioned scene on the outside of Old Town Mall, said some of the tenants want him to paint and date a sign that says, “Shootout at the Old Town Mall.”

“I don’t know if I will or not,” he said.

n Under the desk. Mac Signs office manager Tammy Hohenstein had a front row seat for the incident.

“I sit right by the window. I heard three shots and I got under my desk a little ways with my head peaking out,” she said. “I saw the guy (Bacon) walking up toward the officers. He had the gun in his hand. It was big. It was huge. It was very scary.”

From her location in the office, Hohenstein was right behind Del Sodato.

“It he had shot at her from a different angle, he would have been shooting at me,” she said.

n Flying bullets. Alan Tomasino, owner of Alan’s New York Deli in the Old Town Mall, was outside emptying trash when he saw Mac Hutta directing traffic. As he walked over to see what was going on, a bullet hit the beam over his head. Shortly after that, a second bullet went flying overhead.

“Alan came running in here,” said his wife, Beverly, co-owner of the deli. “Then we both walked outside. We saw the guy (Bacon) get shot across the street and we saw his mom handcuffed on the street.”

The next day, the Tomasinos found a bullet casing right in front of the mall’s leasing office.

“I lived in LA all my life, and I never saw a shooting,” Beverly Tomasino said.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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