By Joel Hall
A Jonesboro gas station clerk was shot during a botched robbery attempt early Tuesday morning.
According to police reports, a 57-year old Middle Eastern male was shot in the stomach by young black assailant armed with a handgun. The shooting took place at the Chevron gas station, located at 8545 Tara Blvd. in Jonesboro.
Detective Victoria Wright with the Jonesboro Police Department, said at approximately 12 a.m., one young black male made a purchase while another black male wearing a white, hooded sweatshirt came in a side door and pointed a gun towards the clerk. The armed robber then fired one shot into the abdomen of the clerk and fled the store without any cash, or merchandise.
She said the entire incident happened in "less than a minute".
"Basically, based on the video, a customer was paying for an item and when he was walking away, another black male came in brandishing a firearm at the victim," said Wright. "He did say give me all your money. [However], he didn't get any money. He fired one shot and he left. It happened that fast."
The victim, whose name is not being released by police, was air-lifted to Atlanta Medical Center where he is said to be in "stable condition." Wright said the police are pursuing leads on a 30-35 year-old black male in the shooting and are also trying to identify the man who made a purchase just prior to the shooting.
"We don't know if the first one is involved, but we know that the shooter was involved," she added. "It was kind of weird how the first one just walked out of the store nonchalantly when the gun was shown to him. We think they are together."
Within the last year, more than one establishment near the intersection of Smith Street and Tara Boulevard has been targeted by armed robbers, said Wright. A few months back, a nearby Arby's Restaurant was robbed of its deposit and in March, a clerk at the Savannah Suites on Tara Boulevard was shot multiple times in a failed robbery.
Wright believes the suspect or suspects in the Chevron robbery were inexperienced and police are using the video surveillance from the store to aid their investigation.
"It didn't seem like they knew what they were doing because they were already on video," she continued.
The Jonesboro Police Department is looking for clues which could lead to an arrest. Anyone who has any information is encouraged to contact Detective Wright at (770) 478- 7407.