Sword-wielding robber seriously injures store clerk

IONIA COUNTY, MI – A convenience store worker was seriously injured when he was repeatedly stabbed by a thief wielding a Katana sword, sheriff’s deputies said.

The victim, a 56-year-old Lyonnais, sustained serious injuries to the face and head in the attack on Sunday, October 31 at a store in the 700 block of West Lincoln Avenue near North State Street just outside of the city of Ionia.

A 36-year-old man from Ionia was arrested.

The incident happened around 11:40 a.m.

Surveillance video and investigation showed that a thief, dressed in black, attempted to use a rope to tie the door closed from the outside. The employee opened the door and asked the man what he was doing.

The thief drew the sword from a scabbard and stabbed the clerk in the doorway. The salesman fled into the store where the “suspect followed him and continued to slash and cut the salesman’s head and neck, causing serious injuries,” police said in a statement.

The clerk was pushed behind the counter as the thief took cigarettes and money from the cash register. The robber fled on foot.

Police quickly spotted the suspect in a farm field off Haynor Road, north of the convenience store. After a short standoff, the suspect surrendered. He was taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries, and then detained in the Ionia County Jail.

The victim was transported to Spectrum Health Hospital in Butterworth in critical condition. He was subsequently listed in serious but stable condition, police said.

The suspect has been charged with armed robbery and assault with possible additional charges, police said.

His name is withheld pending his arraignment in Ionia County District Court.

Ionia police and state police responded to the scene.

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