A newspaper carrier for the Lexington Herald-Leader was shot in the neck while delivering newspapers early Monday morning.
The carrier, Don Silvestri, 56, was shot about 4:30 a.m. on Roosevelt Boulevard, which is off Georgetown Street in northwest Lexington. He was taken to University of Kentucky Hospital, where he is expected to recover.
Herald-Leader vice president of circulation Nelson Fonticiella said this was the first time in his seven years at the company that a carrier had been shot on the job.
He described Silvestri as a "quality guy who gives great care and service to his customers."
He takes care of his fellow carriers, too; Fonticiella said Silvestri often bakes fresh bread to share with his co-workers.
Dan Silvestri, Don Silvestri's brother, said the carrier also wrapped small loaves of bread to give to his customers on Christmas.
The bullet apparently exited through Don Silvestri's back, damaging nerves as it passed. Dan Silvestri said his brother had had little feeling in his left arm and hand, but had improved since Monday morning. The hospital listed him in fair condition Monday night.
Dan Silvestri said his brother had first encountered the two men a little before 4 a.m. several blocks from where he was shot.
"He felt a little uneasy about them, as you might anybody at that time of the morning," he said.
Dan Silvestri said the two followed his brother, approaching him again on Roosevelt as he stepped out of his car to deliver newspapers. As the men were walking away from the carrier after some sort of fight, one then turned and shot him.
In the confusion that followed, Don Silvestri began to doubt the man had fired a real gun. Dan Silvestri said his brother delivered another paper before realizing he'd been hit.
Don Silvestri drove to a Thornton's gas station on Georgetown Road for help.
Lt. Chris Van Brackel said Lexington police are investigating but have not named any suspects. He described the shooters as two young black men, possibly 16 to 18 years old. No further description was immediately available.
Anyone with information on the shooting has been asked to call police at (859) 258-3600.
Don Silvestri has been a contract carrier with the Herald-Leader for about three years, his brother said.