INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A store clerk is still recovering in the hospital after being shot while trying to stop a robbery suspect.
It happened Monday night at Family Dollar near 10th Street and Arlington on the city’s east side.
Police identified the store clerk as 18-year-old Marvin Martinez Pujols. A spokesperson for the hospital told 24-Hour News 8 Pujols was in the operating room Tuesday and at last check he was still in critical condition.
Some people working in the shopping center are now on the lookout for a man wanted in connection to the attempted robbery.
The store put up flyers and they’re now offering a cash reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest.
“I was like, ‘that’s right next door to my place,’” said Scott Gosser.
Gosser works at a beauty and barber school just steps away from Family Dollar.
“We’ve been pretty busy and steady,” Gosser said. “We’re steady all the time. No actual crime in the area until this.”
Police said they got a call Monday just after 9 p.m. for a person shot during a robbery at Family Dollar. Officers got to the store and found a male clerk shot in the chest.
“It appears as if there was a struggle inside,” said Captain Harold Turner, IMPD. “One of the male clerks that was shot tried to wrestle with the individual, the suspect.”
Police believe the same suspect may be responsible for another robbery at the store on October 7th. Police described the suspect as a black man about six feet tall and heavy set. He was last seen wearing a gray and green hoodie sweatshirt.
Gosser admits he felt uneasy going into work Tuesday morning.
“I was on edge. I was nervous. I texted my boss and told her that I was kind of scared to be in the place,” Gosser said. “She told me to keep the door locked and when customers come in, unlock it and lock it.”
Gosser said he felt at ease after seeing extra security at the shopping center, like a security guard outside the Family Dollar store.
“We’ve had police officers in the parking lot this morning riding their bikes around here so I felt pretty safe,” he said.
Gosser added that he’s just hoping the store clerk will make a full recovery.
“I pray that he comes through his surgery and that he stays alive. He’s only 18 years old,” Gosser said.
Police said several officers helped the victim before paramedics got there. One applied pressure to the wound; another used a first aid kit that he had in his patrol car to stop the bleeding.
A spokesperson for Family Dollar released a statement on the incident that read:
“We are shaken by this incident in our N. Arlington Ave. store location, and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, their family members and our local community. We have been in touch with our associate’s family and out of respect of the associate and the family’s privacy, we are not providing any details. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement’s response and investigation.
Please know that the safety and security of our customers and associates is our first priority. Family Dollar has proudly operated stores in the Indianapolis area for many years. When violence in the communities and neighborhoods we serve occurs, it affects everyone- including our stores. Though we hope to never have to use them, we do have policies and rigorous trainings in place to best respond to store safety and security incidents and are committed to continually improving them to address potential threats to our stores.
We strive to create a safe work and shopping environment by tailoring our store operations and security for each store. We are continually enhancing the on-premise security and surveillance systems in all our stores, as well as our employee training. To ensure the integrity of our security systems and procedures, we do not release specific details about these measures.”