Pair forced Family Dollar clerk into corner at gunpoint during robbery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police said they are looking for two men who robbed a southwest Charlotte Family Dollar at gunpoint on Tuesday afternoon.

Detectives told Channel 9 that the pair walked into the Family Dollar on Nations Ford Road around 5 p.m. demanding money.

According to police, one of the men pulled out a handgun, and they forced the store clerk into a corner.

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The men then robbed the business before running away.

Police released two close-up surveillance images of the suspects' faces and a third image showing them robbing the store employee.

The first person was wearing a black hoodie, camouflage pants and eyeglasses, while the second person was wearing a black hoodie and black pants.

The clerk's friend, Tommie Purvis, said the images are hard to look at, especially because his friend didn't deserve it.

"It brung tears to my eyes because Shonna is a very sweet person," Purvis said. "She believes in God and I can just imagine what she was thinking at that time -- just asking God to help her, you know."

According to Purvis, the robbers caught the clerk at a vulnerable time because the line in the store was long.

[ALSO READ: Trio charged in connection with Wells Fargo, Family Dollar hold ups]

"Shonna is trying to get these people out," Purvis said. "She can't keep an eye on everybody coming through the door, because she's trying to get the line down, and they just walk right pass her."

Channel 9 learned that police have been called to the store more than 100 times this year for various crimes, including shoplifting and other disturbances.

It's been a busy week for police in the area.

On Tuesday, Channel 9 reported on an armed robbery that happened just three miles away on Sharon Lakes Road. Police said four young people robbed two teenagers at gunpoint in broad daylight.

[ALSO READ: Armed Dollar General clerk shoots, kills would-be robber as customers shop]

Tuesday's incident was one of about 28 robberies in the area in the last month.

Channel 9's Tina Terry asked police if the crimes are related, but has not heard back.

Anyone who recognizes the suspects or has information about this case is asked to call 911 or Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.