Clerk Shoots, Kills Hold-Up Suspect
Men Allegedly Pointed Guns At Clerk
WILMINGTON, Del. - A liquor store clerk shot and killed a suspected robber overnight in Wilmington, police said.
Up to three men wearing masks entered the Favors Liquor Store on Walnut Street around 9:30 p.m. Guns were allegedly pointed at the clerk inside, and money was demanded.
Police said the 55-year-old clerk soon pulled out his own gun and started shooting.
One suspect was hit, dropped his .22-caliber gun, stumbled 40 feet outside of the store and died. Police don't know if the clerk's gunfire might have struck the other hold-up men, who fled.
Investigators notified local hospitals to be on the lookout for someone possibly coming in with a gunshot wound.
Investigators also dusted for fingerprints all over the store.
he clerk was not hurt during the hold-up, police said. Neither were two women, another clerk and a relative, all of whom were in the back of the store and not involved.
Ed -- the store's owner who only wanted his last name used -- said the clerk handed over some money but it was the bandits who fired their guns first.
They missed, but the clerk did not.
A Fox 29 News camera showed that inside the store there is a tall, protective glass counter to protect the clerk and cash register. A wall of merchandise also partially blocks the view, so the suspects likely could not see the clerk getting his gun.
Ed said he has been forced to use a gun before at one of his other locations, and people know they will defend thsemslves inside the stores.
"Everyone knows we're armed in here. I mean, it's common knowledge," Ed said. "I've had liquor stores before, and I've had some confrontations, so they know me."
This same store was robbed two years ago. It opened two-and-a-half years ago.
Unfortunately, a surveillance system inside the Walnut Street store was not working. A power surge during an October nor'easter knocked it out, and the installer was expected to fix it soon.
Police have not said what a city surveillance camera about 25 feet from the store's door might have caught.
Ed noted that it was not long ago that an elderly customer was robbed of a six-pack of liquor, beaten on the next stoop over from his store and died a few days later.
Other business owners said they're happy someone is taking a stand against crime in the neighborhood.
Stella Dunning, 81, was hospitalized after the last robbery and attack at the nearby Knotty Pine Restaurant, despite its landmark bronze plaque for being the onyl restaurant to serve blacks during Delaware's years of segregation.
"I work in fear. I have to close up early because I'm afraid to stay open," Dunning said. "I am glad they're getting these robbers off the street."