LOCKPORT – A confrontation inside a convenience store at a Lockport gas station, which led to the shooting of a Lockport man Thursday afternoon, has still not been fully explained.

Detective Capt. Richard L. Podgers said witnesses gave conflicting accounts of what was said between the victim, Richard Vance, 44, and the two assailants.

Most weren’t really paying attention, Podgers said.

But Vance, much to his own surprise, was shot in the hip outside the Gulf station at Walnut and Washburn streets. He was listed in fair condition Friday evening in Erie County Medical Center.

He left the scene on foot, and police responding to a call of shots fired at about 4:45 p.m. Thursday were unable to find either the victim or the suspects. There was a witness who reported seeing a man limping south on Washburn Street.

However, Podgers said patrol officers inspecting the store’s surveillance video recognized Vance, and he was tracked down in a friend’s apartment in the 200 block of Washburn Street about 9 p.m. Thursday.

Podgers said Vance, who may have been slightly intoxicated, at first thought he was hit by a paintball pellet. “He still can’t believe he was shot,” Podgers said.

Podgers said police had the name of one potential suspect in mind after reviewing the video from the Gulf station. He said Vance did not know the assailants.

Podgers said the store’s video, which has no sound, shows the three men talking in the convenience store, and then shows the beginning of the confrontation outside. The shooting itself was not captured on tape, as it appears to have happened near the edge of the property.

According to one account, the suspects challenged Vance “to take it outside,” Podgers said. Multiple gunshots were fired, but Vance was hit only once.

Resting in his friend’s apartment, Vance felt the pain and bleeding in his hip worsening. He had just called his mother about possibly going to the hospital when police found him.

Police are asking anyone with knowledge of the suspects to call them at 433-7700.