Suspect Sought After Gunfight at Convenience Store - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/28/04

Suspect Sought After Gunfight at Convenience Store

Police on the scene of last night's gunfight. Police on the scene of last night's gunfight.

A convenience store clerk is recovering from a gunshot wound after he was involved in a shootout inside the store. It happened last night at the Chevron gas station at the corner of Highway 80 and Chatham Parkway in Garden City.

Police say a black male, about six feet tall, 150 pounds, wearing a hoodie, walked into the store, looked around and started shooting.

The clerk wasn't going to stand by while a stranger shot up his store. Police say when the suspect fired his gun, 20-year-old Falgun Patel, fired back.

"The clerk retrieved a gun that was under the counter and started firing back, a total of eight or nine rounds were fired," said Chief David Lyons with Garden City PD.

One of the bullets hit the clerk's hand. Investigators found others in the ceiling, in the wall and near the cash register where the clerk was standing. "A lot of bullet holes," said Chief Lyons. "The store is pretty well shot up. We have no idea if it was a robbery or this was a personal issue or a case of mistaken identity, at this point we don't have a clue."

Ryan Meeke stopped by the store after he heard what happened. "A shock that happens somewhere where I go, makes it a little scary, makes me nervous."

The family of the clerk who was shot runs the store. They say this is the first time something this bad has happened here and they say they are going to continue to defend themselves and their store.

Police say that's not such a good idea. "If an innocent customer had walked into that store while that's going on, someone is going to get hurt," said Chief Lyons.

Police say if an attacker does demand money or merchandise, hand it over. They'll handle the case from there.

If you have any information about the who the suspect in this shooting is, call the police at 912.966.7770.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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