Police say as many as three men were involved in the armed robbery of the northeast Houston convenience store on Mesa near Tidwell early Tuesday morning. The victim was shot twice and right now remains in the hospital.
The man who owns this store has been there for 11 years. He has a lot of regular customers. Many of them woke up to the news that the overnight clerk there was shot possibly by someone who'd been there before.
"Man, it's sad. It saddens my heart to know that this kinda thing exists where I live," said customer Ray McCloud.
For McCloud, who stops by the Time Saver Gas and Grocery every day, there are few worse ways to wake up.
"My sympathy goes out to these people, this whole corner. This is a good spot," said McCloud.
Just before 4am, police say two suspects shot the on-duty clerk. He was struck once in the arm and again in the abdomen.
Typically, the doors to the business aren't open 24 hours and you have to be buzzed in. The store owner thinks the clerk knew the suspects, which is why he let them into the store.
The convenience store's surveillance video shows it clearly as the suspects hop over the register, through the window and demand money at gunpoint.
"Once inside the booth, they produce a handgun and try to get the manager to open the safe up," said HPD Det. Larry Gibson.
One gunman shot the clerk, then both took off. Police still aren't sure what, if anything, the suspects got away with. But they want your help to find these guys and turn them in.
In the meantime, some of the regular customers won't make their pit stops after dark.
"If it's going on like that, I won't be. Gotta be safe," said customer Kenneth Gamble.
As for the store clerk, he is a man in his 40s, a father of three and originally from Pakistan. Known to folks around here as "Jimmy," he is recovering in the hospital and we're told he is expected to be fine.
Investigators are heavily relying on the clear pictures in the surveillance video to catch the suspects. Anyone with information in this case is urged to call police.