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Clerk fights armed robber in motel lobby

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

When paramedics carried away the wounded man, after the armed robbery, the former Marine reportedly said: "The [expletive] didn't get away with anything."

The victim, who has not been named by police, was working at the front desk of the Savannah Suites, 8240 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro Friday. At about 8:25 a.m., a man walked into the front office of the extended-stay motel and pulled a gun on the clerk, but the former Marine, in his 50s, fought back, according to Jonesboro Police.

"When the gun came out," said Detective Tim Jessup, "the bullet clip fell out the bottom ... He's an old Marine and that old Marine came out in him, and there was a struggle, a terrific struggle."

The clerk reportedly threw something at the would-be robber, and the two men fought, leaving the lobby looking "like a tornado had come through the inside."

During the struggle, the armed robber reloaded his gun and shot the clerk. He was hit "at least two, and possibly, three times," Jessup said, sustaining wounds to his upper right chest, abdomen, and right hand.

On Friday night, the motel clerk was reportedly at Atlanta Medical Center, surround by his wife and family. He went through emergency surgery, but was still considered to be in critical condition.

Jessup said the man might have been dead, if it weren't for his fighting spirit and a lucky break.

"If the clip hadn't accidentally ejected," the detective said, "the perpetrator probably would have killed him."

Police were still looking to identify, and catch, the alleged perpetrator. He was described as a "tall, skinny, black male," wearing a tan-colored, hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

The detective didn't know if the assailant was wounded.

Police also were reviewing the motel's security video Friday afternoon, hoping for more information and a better description.

Anyone with information about the incident, or a lead on a possible suspect, is asked to call the Jonesboro Police at (770) 478-7407.