Store owner shoots, kills two alleged robbers

Published 10:04 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2012

HOBBSVILLE – The owner of a general store near here has apparently shot and killed two alleged would-be robbers.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb reported that two black males, neither carrying identification, died of gunshot wounds after they allegedly attempted to rob Joppa Store at gunpoint around 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Joppa Store is located off Acorn Hill Road in the southeastern corner of Gates County.

“All I can tell you at this point is that two black males entered Joppa Store, both with their faces covered by bandanas, pointed a gun in the face of the store owner and told him they would kill him if he didn’t hand over the money in the cash register,” Webb said.

Webb added that the two suspects then began to beat the store owner, so much to the point where the Sheriff stated that the victim was “all black and blue from bruising on his body.”

“They beat him down to the floor,” Webb said. “It was at that point where the store owner reached under the counter, while lying on the floor, for a weapon he kept there. He fired a shot at one of the assailants, striking him in the abdomen.”

Despite the bullet wound, Webb said that suspect was able to exit the store.

“At that point the second suspect was at or near the door and pointed his weapon at the store owner,” Webb said. “The store owner then fired three shots at that suspect.”

Webb said by the time the owner exited his store he discovered one of the suspects lying in the parking lot.

“That suspect was deceased at that time,” Webb said.

Meanwhile, the second suspect was nowhere to be found.

“My officers arrived and secured the scene,” Webb said. “At that point we began to track the whereabouts of the second suspect and found him deceased in a wooded area about 150 yards from the store.”

Webb did not reveal the identity of the store owner, only saying he was approximately 55-to-60 years of age and lived in Gates County. He said the owner was undergoing medical treatment at a local hospital as of 9:30 p.m.

“We’ve got the SBI crime scene technicians on their way here now,” Webb said.

Assisting Webb and his officers in the immediate investigation were law enforcement officials from Hertford, Pasquotank, Chowan and Perquimans sheriff’s offices as well as the Edenton Police Department.

“While we’re in the discovery mode, attempting to learn the identity of the two suspects, we’re also learning that the MO (Method of Operation) used by the suspects in this robbery attempt is closely matched with those of at least two other recent convenience store robberies – one in Pasquotank County and the other in Edenton,” Webb said.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald will have more on this story as information is made available.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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