Witness fires gun as robber flees
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 8:02 AM EDT
By Michael P. McConnell, Daily Tribune Staff Writer
Man told police he was trying to get suspect to stop.
MADISON HEIGHTS — Police seized a handgun from a witness to an armed robbery at a gas station early Monday after they say he fired several shots into the air as the robber fled in a car on West 12 Mile Road.
The thief got away with between $100 and $200 cash, police said.
"I can't recall us ever having a witness fire a gun before," said Madison Heights Police Lt. Corey Haines. "The witness had his weapon with him and fired six shots in the air. He said it was an attempt to get the robbery suspect to stop."
The witness, 35, told police he drove up to the Clark station, 601 W. 12 Mile Road about 2:15 a.m. and saw a man running away from the station.
He talked to the clerk inside the station and learned he had just been robbed, police said.
The Madison Heights man saw the robber run across 12 Mile Road to the Home Depot parking lot across the street, he told police.
Officers said the robber got into a dark colored Dodge, possibly a Sebring or Stratus, and drove west on 12 Mile with the lights off.
The witness, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, then fired the shots from his 9mm handgun, police said.
"What he did was very unsafe," Haines said. "We're continuing our investigation and will report the incident to the county gun board which oversees gun permits."
No one was injured and there was no damage from the fired
shots, Haines added.
Police said they are looking for the man who held up the gas station.
The suspect walked up to the counter with a bottle of water then put his hand in his shirt pocket, implying he had a gun, and told the clerk to put all the money from the register in a bag and give it to him, police said.
The clerk, 19, complied and the robber ordered him to lie on the floor before the robber fled the station, police said.
The man is described as black, about 30 years old, and wore a mustache, a brownish-gray hooded pull-over shirt and green shorts.
Police said the man left the water bottle on the counter and they are checking it for fingerprints.