LOWELL, N.C. - A jaw-dropping violent robbery was caught on surveillance video inside a Lowell convenience store over the weekend and police are still looking for the suspect.
Officers have, however, arrested the man they said was the getaway driver in the brazen crime.
On the evening of Jan. 28, a man brought his 4-year-old nephew to visit the boy's grandmother at the Lowell Mini Mart on McAdenville Road, where the woman works as a clerk.
The man, who didn’t want to show his bloody face on camera, told Channel 9 that seconds before the attack, he looked into the robber’s eyes and felt something was wrong.
“As soon as he walked in, I had an eerie feeling about the whole thing,” the victim said.
The surveillance video shows the robber put the man in a chokehold and point the gun at the clerk while the 4-year-old boy watched, clutching a drink.
Police said the gun may have been a pellet gun, but it seemed real when the suspect pistol-whipped the man in the head. The clerk, who also didn’t want to be identified, said the robber targeted the 4-year-old.
“He aimed the gun at my grandson and said he would kill him,” the clerk said.
The clerk grabbed her grandson and put herself between the child and the gunman.
The gunman rushed her and hit her on the head. She said she told her grandson to run.
“He had no remorse, no concern for anyone, anybody,” the clerk said.
She said she couldn’t open the cash drawer because the robber bent the key in the lock. She told Channel 9 that the man realized he wasn’t going to get any cash and took as many cigarettes as he could and ran off.
The clerk who took the beating to defend her family went back to work on Monday.
“I had to see if I could come back in and be in this environment again,” she said.
Police in two communities are now looking for the robber.
“We need to find this suspect as soon as possible before he hurts somebody else,” Lowell police Capt. Carl Moore said.
On Tuesday, officers announced they had arrested Dustin Bingham, the suspected getaway driver. He was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy and possession of stolen goods.
Police said they believe the getaway car was taken during a carjacking Sunday morning in Gastonia. They recovered the car on Monday.
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