A St. Louis robbery suspect was hospitalized after the owner of a store he stole from followed him to another store and shot him as he attempted to rob it.
The 32-year-old suspect entered the Kaiser Grand Food Mart early Wednesday morning and approached the register. He handed a note to the cashier informing them that they were being robbed. The clerk handed the thief $100 and then yelled for the owner, prompting the suspect to leave the store and run away.
The owner of the Kaiser Grand store then got in his car and followed the suspect as he made his way toward a Walgreens. When the man entered the Walgreens, the suspect was attempting to rob it and waving what appeared to be a gun. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the man then pulled out his own gun and instructed the robber to get on the ground. When the suspect refused to comply, the store owner fired two shots at him, hitting him once in the upper chest.
The suspect was brought to a nearby hospital in critical but stable condition. Authorities said his weapon was discovered to be a toy gun.
The owner of the Kaiser Grand store, who has not been identified, will most likely not face charges for shooting the suspect. Authorities told Fox 2 News that they do not condone what the owner did. “To follow from a distance I guess would be all right,” Lt. Ed Harper said. “But to try to apprehend him. No.”
Lisa Demsko, a local business owner, applauded what the store owner did. Demsko said the area has seen a significant increase in crime throughout recent years.
“I’ve lived here, gosh, 43 years,” Demsko said, “and this used to be the neighborhood to live in and it seems like these days that crime is more the rule than the exception, and we’re tired of it.” Demsko told reporters that she keeps a pistol at her salon station next to combs and brushes.
Authorities believe the robber was involved in other robberies throughout the St. Louis area, including a recent holdup at a dollar store near the Walgreen’s where the shooting took place. He was charged with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, attempted stealing and attempted robbery.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, stltoday.com/David Carson