Ill. Store worker shoots and kills suspect in armed robbery

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – An Illinois store clerk shot and killed an armed robbery suspect and will not face charges at this time.

“After a preliminary review of the surveillance video and interviews with witnesses, it appears that the employee’s use of force was justified in self-defense and in the defense of others inside the store during the theft,” said Rock Island County attorney Dora Villarreal.

The store employee told KWQC why he pulled the trigger.

The incident happened Tuesday night at Blackhawks Tobacco & Vape in Rock Island, Illinois. Police say three robbery suspects, all wearing masks, entered the store. One of them had a gun.

As they threatened employees and demanded goods, the store clerk, who asked to remain anonymous, decided to open fire.

“I was just thinking about trying to stay calm, stay still because they had the gun right in our faces,” he said.

The clerk said this incident was the first time he had been the victim of an armed robbery inside the store.

“This man looked me in the eye and said, ‘Do you have children at home? Do you have a family at home? I do. I want to go home. Do you want to go home tonight?’ As they walked out of the store, I saw him point the gun at a stopping customer, and that’s when I emptied the magazine at him,” the store clerk said.

The clerk said there were two other staff working. None of them were injured.

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

The store clerk has since quit his job.

“I almost died twice yesterday man with the gun to my face and I could have gone to jail and lost my whole life. I just ended it and told them I was done . It is what it is,” he said.

A second suspect was injured in the incident, found by police and taken to hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition. Criminal charges are pending against the suspect, KWQC reports.

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

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