Ill. store clerk shoots, kills suspect during armed robbery

A store clerk at Blackhawks Tobacco & Vape fatally shot one of three armed robbery suspects....
A store clerk at Blackhawks Tobacco & Vape fatally shot one of three armed robbery suspects. Police say the suspects, all wearing masks, threatened store employees and demanded merchandise. One of them had a gun.(Source: KWQC)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:45 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:51 AM EST
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - A store clerk in Illinois shot and killed an armed robbery suspect and will not be facing charges at this time.

“After a preliminary review of surveillance video and witness interviews, it appears the use of force by the employee was justified as self-defense and for the defense of others inside the store during the robbery,” Rock Island County State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal said.

The store clerk explained to KWQC why he pulled the trigger.

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

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

As the suspects 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,” he said.

The clerk said that incident 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 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 clerk said. “Nobody wants to see anybody lose their life. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt, but people made their choices 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 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,” he said.

A second suspect was injured in the incident, found by police and taken to the 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 Rock Island Police at (309) 732-2677 or Crime Stoppers at (309) 762-9500.

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