A man armed with a handgun fired multiple rounds at employees behind the counter inside the Thorntons Gas Station minimart, 601 Harlem Ave., on Feb. 19 at about 5:45 a.m. after he reportedly became angry over a mistake made by one of the cashiers.
No person was struck by any of the eight rounds fired, said police, but a hole was observed by police above the cash register where a bullet traveled through a row of cigarettes to the rear wall.
There is no bulletproof barrier separating the clerks behind the counter from the rest of the store.
Police said there were two more bullet holes by the candy display just below the cash register, where they recovered a spent bullet from the front counter wall. Three more bullet holes were observed in a drink cooler at the front of the store near the cash registers.
Six shell casings were recovered inside the minimart and two more were found lying on the ground outside.
According to employees working at the time, the incident resulted from one of them mistakenly charging a $9 pre-pay the offender made to the wrong gas pump. When the offender could not pump gas where his vehicle was parked, he reportedly went back into the minimart and began yelling at the employee.
Another employee reportedly told the offender to calm down and that the mistake was simple to fix. However, after the offender allegedly called that clerk a “hoe ass bitch” the clerk told the offender he had to leave, prompting him to allegedly say, “Why don’t you come out from behind that counter and I’ll kill you right now?”
After being told to leave again, the offender allegedly then pulled out a handgun from his jacket, pointed it in the direction of the employee and began firing. The employees all dropped to the floor to avoid being hit and stayed there until the offender left the minimart.
The offender apparently attempted to get back into his car, a 2004 Ford Taurus parked at a gas pump, in order to drive away, but the car wouldn’t move, so he fled the scene on foot and left the vehicle behind.
Police say the vehicle was not stolen. Officers reported recovering other evidence from the scene, including DNA evidence and paperwork from the vehicle. The offender also apparently left behind the handgun, a Taurus 9 mm semiautomatic pistol with a 12-round magazine.