• Man attempts to rob store of cash, takes can of beer instead

    By: Jenna Deery


    GASTONIA, N.C. - A store clerk was afraid for his life Saturday night after an armed robber started shooting at him.

    Charlie Welch said he recognized the gunman who shot off rounds inside the Gastonia Express store.

    “I've interacted with him and talked with him on a daily basis,” Welch said. “It was something I didn't expect.”

    Police said 23-year-old Jah Setzer tried to open the register and when he couldn’t, he fired at Welch before taking off with a $3 can of beer that was on the counter.

    Welch said he tried to escape out of the back door and “stay out of the way of the bullets.”

    Travis McDowell is a customer at the Gastonia Express and was shocked at what happened.

    “That's crazy,” McDowell said. “That's ridiculous. Ignorant and everything else.”

    Despite narrowly escaping the bullets, Welch was back at work Sunday. He feels safer knowing Setzer is behind bars.

    The store owner said he believes two other men were involved in the robbery attempt, but there has been no confirmation from authorities.

    Setzer faces charges including aggravated assault and robbery.

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