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Robber chased from store with his own gun

By Sarah Nagem and Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
ENOCHVILLE ó A robber got away from a convenience store with some cash Wednesday morning, but not before dodging a bullet from his own gun and dropping most of the money he tried to steal.
Around 5:30 a.m., Ismael Doumbia, a clerk at the Express Mart at 2720 W. C St., was counting the money in the store’s safe.
“I didn’t see him coming into the store,” Doumbia, 39, of Charlotte, said of the robber.
The reality of what was about to unfold sank in fast. “I heard, ‘Give me the money,’ ” Doumbia recalled.
The robber, who Doumbia described as a tall black man wearing a ski mask, brandished a gun.
“I was like, ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me, please. You can have the money,’ ” Doumbia said.
The robber came behind the counter to where Doumbia was standing. Doumbia handed over the money he had been counting near the safe ó about $350 in small bills and change.
Perhaps satisfied at first, the man returned to the front of the counter, where customers check out their purchases. That’s when he asked Doumbia where the $20 bills were.
“I said I would get the money out of the register,” Doumbia said.
And that’s when things turned bad for this robber. The man set his handgun on the counter, and Doumbia snatched it.
He fired a shot that went through the store’s door.
“I was trying to shoot him,” Doumbia said. “He started running.”
In his haste, the man dropped most of the money he had stolen. Doumbia estimated the robber got away with about $80.
Doumbia isn’t sure why the man put the gun down. “I don’t know why,” he said. “God help me, I don’t know why.”
But Doumbia was glad it worked out like it did. Except, he said, he wishes he would have shot the man.
Doumbia, who has worked as a convenience store clerk for about eight years in Charlotte and now in Enochville, has been robbed before.
At a store in Charlotte in 2000, Doumbia said, he thwarted a would-be robber’s plans. A man brandished a knife and demanded money, but Doumbia managed to keep the robber at the store until police arrived.
He’s not so hopeful that the robber from Wednesday morning will be caught. The store’s security camera wasn’t working, he said, and he didn’t get a good look at the man.
“I hope they catch him, but it’s going to be hard,” Doumbia said.
After the robber left the store, he got in a small black car that was apparently waiting for him, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators think the robber was wearing a blue sweater and khaki shorts.
Anyone with information about the crime should call Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 866-639-5245 or the Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8668.

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