CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are seeking the public's help in identifying a man who robbed a Circle K on North Graham and 10th Street in uptown.
Police released a picture of the man they're looking for in the case.
The incident happened just after 1 a.m. Friday.
Police said the man entered the gas station and robbed the store. They said he threatened to shoot the employee during the course of the robbery, but a gun was not seen.
Witnesses said a customer in the store ran outside. When the robber exited the business, police said the customer fired at him.
The robber took off on foot toward West 10th Street, according to police.
Customers at the gas station had mixed opinions about whether the shopper who pulled the trigger performed a service or a crime.
"Nah, nah, he can't be firing shots out in the city like that," customer Dru Paxx said. "Let the police handle that."
Customer Matthew Dodds said the customer should take action.
“I think they should. If they feel confident, and remain safe in doing so,” Dodds said. “I think we should all protect and serve.”
A local legal expert said there are several things to consider before firing a weapon in public.
Scott MacLatchie, an attorney with a background in law enforcement, said citizens can take crime fighting into their own hands, but only if a suspect presents an imminent threat and they should also consider their surroundings.
“I can say there are circumstances where it would be completely lawful to shoot at someone who was fleeing from a robbery or attempted robbery,” MacLatchie said. “If you're in a store, especially in a busy store, you may think, ‘Oh my gosh, I may end up in a shooting. What's down range?’”
It is unclear at this time whether the robber was hit by gunfire.
The customer left the scene.
Police said no arrests have been made.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.
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