NEAR FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) – Deputies are investigating after a gas station clerk said he shot at two robbers — killing one — near Fort Lauderdale.
The robbery happened at a Valero gas station along the 2400 block of West Sunrise Boulevard, Wednesday afternoon.
Late Wednesday night, Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed one of the robbers had been shot and killed. Investigators said his body was dropped off at a Hollywood fire station. He died on the way to the hospital, authorities said.
Deputies were joined by Fort Lauderdale Police in their search for the crooks. The other one still remains at large.
Surveillance video from outside the gas station showed two men — one with a white T-shirt and another with a black shirt — approaching the store.
Video from inside the gas station showed the man in the white shirt going behind the counter and pointing a gun at the gas station’s clerk. The man could then be seen in the video pistol whipping the clerk on the left side of his face.
The video showed a second robber’s hand reaching over the counter and into the station’s register.
The culprits are then seen in the video forcing the clerk to the ground before taking off. The clerk was later identified as Mike.
“Just two guys came inside the gas station and put a gun on me, and they took the money,” said Mike while holding an ice pack to his head.
After the gas station was robbed, the station’s clerk said he gave chase and shot at the two robbers.
“I went outside and shot at them twice,” Mike explained.
Mike said he was not sure if he hit one of the two men that fled down an alley.
“Three gunshots,” witness Mimi Sanchez said. “That was it, and I see him walk back that way. I was sitting in my bedroom, and I sat up, and all I heard was three gunshots. That was it.”
“We just heard five shots. We had to tell the kids to get down on the ground,” witness Lanisha Thomas said. “It’s just ridiculous. They shouldn’t have tried to rob him, so he should have — ’cause the owner of the store, I know him personally, and he’s a very good person.”
Mike Dircks said he tried to get inside the store moments after the robbery.
“The door was locked, so I looked in the window, and the young man had blood running out of his head, and I said, ‘Hey, buddy,'” Dircks said. “I know all these people. I said, ‘Open the door, please. Are you OK?’ But the sheriff came roaring in, and that was that.”
Deputies spent several hours investigating the scene.
Neighbors said they know the owners of the gas station, and they stand behind him.
“I’m all for it,” Sanchez said. “If somebody’s putting his life in danger, I’m all for it. If he has to defend himself, that’s what he has to do.”
“I think he had to handle his business,” a neighbor said.
Deputies said the culprit remains at large in the area. However, BSO said they do not have a description of the crook.
“We’re a part of the community,” owner Moe Farraj said. “We understand the struggle, but some people choose different choices.”
“I’m glad [Mike] is OK,” owner Amjad Hamaad added. “That’s what matters right now. Thank God he’s all right. A little shaken up, but he’s OK.”
BSO said the clerk is not facing charges, as of now, but the investigation continues.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the second subject in this robbery, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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