VIDEO: NC gunman sprays clerk with paint during robbery, police say

North Carolina news

GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) – Detectives from the Gastonia Police Department are trying to identify the man responsible for a robbery at a convenience store in Gastonia.

The incident happened on the evening of Tuesday, February 18, at the Kingsway convenience store on Bessemer City Road in Gastonia.

Carisa Cook said she was the clerk working at the time of the robbery. Surveillance footage from the store shows the suspect come behind the counter and confront Cook.

“I thought he came back this way, but when I looked up he was right beside me with a gun,” Cook told WBTV in an interview Monday night.

Cook said the man demanded cash. She said she was worried that he may try to shoot her.

“I gave him the money. He just kept telling me to hurry up, to put it in a bag,” explained Cook.

Surveillance footage shows Cook hand over the cash along with a plastic bag. Video shows the man spray cook with paint and then head for the door.

Then, the video shows the man stop and make Cook give him the store’s cordless telephone before he heads off into the night.

Michelle Pheagin, the manager of the store, said she rushed over to the business once she got word of what had happened. Pheagin spoke highly of Cook and said she felt like crying for her.

“She works two jobs – this one is one of her part-times and she’s always been here for me and so I try to be here for her,” said Pheagin.

Gastonia Police shared images of the suspect on social media Monday. In the photos the suspect appears to be wearing a surgical mask and a shirt with a unique illustration.

Pheagin had strong words regarding the robbery, and spoke about the impact it can have on an employee.

“Don’t threaten them. There’s no sense in that. They have nightmares. They go into another store and they feel a presence behind them, it makes them jump, or they just start breaking out crying. It disrupts their whole life,” said the manager.

She said it was very important to the Kingsway staff that the suspect is identified and taken into custody.

“It shouldn’t even happen. If he needed something, my girls would have given it to him,” said Pheagin.

Gastonia Police ask that anyone with information about the robbery call Detective A.C. Edge at 704-869-7871 or Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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