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Store clerk shoots suspect during armed robbery

As the suspects threatened employees and demanded merchandise, the clerk decided he had to open fire.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 6:26 PM CST
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - The store clerk who shot and killed an armed robbery suspect in Rock Island explains why he pulled the trigger.

The incident occurred at Blackhawks Tobacco & Vape. According to Rock Island Police, the three robbery suspects entered the store. All three suspects were wearing a mask, and one of them had a gun. As they threatened employees and demanded merchandise, the clerk decided he had to open fire.

”I was just thinking about trying to stay calm, stay still because they had the gun right in our faces,” said the store clerk, who asked to remain anonymous.

The store clerk said Tuesday night was the first time he has encountered armed robbery inside the store.

“This man looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You have kids at home? You have a family at home? I do. I wanna go home. Do you wanna go home tonight?’ As they were exiting the store, I saw him point the firearm towards a customer that was pulling up, and that’s when I emptied the magazine into him,” the store clerk said.

The store clerk said there were two other staff members working. None of them were harmed.

“We are just a little shaken up right now, trying to process everything,” the store clerk said. “Nobody wants to see anybody lose their life, nobody wants to see anybody get hurt, but people made their choices yesterday, and ended up being what it is.”

The store clerk has since quit his job.

“I almost died twice yesterday, man, with the gun in my face, and I could have gone to prison and lost my whole life. I just put an end to it and told them I was done. It is what it is,” the store clerk said.

The Rock Island Police said the State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal will release a statement after she reviews the employee’s use of deadly force against the armed robbery suspects.

The third suspect is still at-large. If you have any information about the case, contact Rock Island Police at (309) 732-2677 or Crime Stoppers at (309) 762-9500.

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