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Shot fired in robbery
[January 10, 2013]

Shot fired in robbery

Jan 10, 2013 (The Wilson Daily Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Andy Taylor mistook the gunshot for the clatter of a fallen frying pan.

Taylor was working at the Stop and Save convenience store and grill in Wilson when a robber fired into the ceiling and held him and a co-worker at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon.

"I thought it was a pan that fell or something," he said of the handgun blast. "I was on the outside of the (kitchen) door. When the shot went off, I went back in the kitchen because I thought that she had dropped something." Finding nothing, Taylor left the kitchen and found himself face to face with a masked gunman.

"That's when he threw the gun up in my face," Taylor recalled. "I'll tell you the exact words he said: 'Open the damned cash register.'" Taylor works in the kitchen and doesn't have access to the register, he said. The robber trained his gun on Taylor's co-worker, who opened the drawer and retrieved the cash.

"The next thing I know, once she opened the cash register, I was in the kitchen and I didn't see no more," Taylor said. "He was gone." Taylor has worked at the Stop and Save for two years and said he didn't recognize the robber as a regular customer.

"I ain't seen the man before," he said.

Police describe the robber as a black man who was wearing black clothing and a white mask over his face. Taylor added that he brandished a black handgun.

No one was hurt in the shooting. Taylor said the gunfire was likely a warning shot meant to ensure that employees would meet his demands.

Wilson police rushed to the store at 837 Goldsboro St. S. after workers reported the robbery just before 4 p.m. Officers interviewed employees and customers and combed the scene for evidence, police spokesman Sgt. John Slaughter said.

Slaughter said the robber ran from the store with an undisclosed amount of money.

Crime scene tape encircled the gas station and store, and police cars filled the parking lot as detectives investigated the robbery. A Wilson Police forensic unit van was parked near the business' driveway.

Taylor said he wouldn't be able to return to work Wednesday, even after police had finished processing the crime scene.

"My heart's running 100 mph right now," he said. "I'm through. Lock the door and go home." Police had not made an arrest in the armed robbery late Wednesday.

Slaughter said anyone with information on the robber's identity or whereabouts should call the Wilson Police Department at 399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 243-2255. -- 265-7821 ___ (c)2013 The Wilson Daily Times (Wilson, N.C.) Visit The Wilson Daily Times (Wilson, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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