Store Clerk Fires Warning Shots at Robber

Store Clerk Fires Warning Shots at Robber

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Mobile, AL -

A gas station in Mobile that has been robbed well over 20 times in three years gets hit again. This time, the store owner, from Iraq, takes action.

It's something that we hear about more often than we'd like, and it happened again this past Friday night.

Around 10:30, a man wearing a dark ski mask, armed with a handgun robbed a Shell Station in Mobile.

Hayder Hawa was on duty at the time.

"I see someone, he come in the door. He had a gun and pushed it in my face. And he say just open the register, and he say don't say nothing just open the register," Hawa says.

Then, you see Hayder back away from the register as the robber goes through the cash drawer taking everything in sight.

The terrifying incident happened in 36 seconds.

"First day, I could not sleep," Hawa says.

Another store employee checked out the surveillance video and discovered, this man knew what he was doing.

"The guy came in 15 minutes before he robbed the store to see who was manning the cash register," says employee Riadh Ben Ghorbel who has worked at the store for three years.

You see a man in the video in the same jeans and shoes walk into the store, look around, then walk back out. Employees believe 15 minutes later, the same man is the one pointing the gun in Hayder's face.

When he leaves, Hayder presses the emergency button, then follows the robber.

"I have my car outside and I have my gun inside my car, and I fire into the air."

Warning shots.

The question is, is it legal to fire warning shots when someone is running away from you? District Attorney Ashley Rich couldn't comment on this case, but says state laws do not directly cover this issue. Each case is handled individually.

But, Hayder and his fellow employees believe he did the right thing, and he will continue to take necessary measures to keep their store safe.

Store owners ask News 5 does not disclose the location of the store.

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