Store worker shoots suspect in armed robbery

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – The store clerk who shot and killed a Rock Island robbery suspect explains why he pulled the trigger.

The incident happened at Blackhawks Tobacco & Vape. According to Rock Island police, the three robbery suspects entered the store. All three suspects were wearing masks and one had a gun. As they threatened the employees and demanded goods, the employee 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 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 store 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 store clerk said. “Nobody wants to see someone lose their life, nobody wants to see someone get hurt, but people made their choice yesterday and ended up being who they are.”

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,” the store clerk said.

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

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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