Deputies said a Pitt County convenience store owner fought off a would-be robber, then shot at the suspect to drive him away.
According to the Pitt County Sheriff's Office, the owner of Hill's Convenience Store, on Highway 43 outside Greenville, was taking out the trash before closing up shop at about 10:15 p.m. Monday. That was when an armed man, wearing a t-shirt over his head, approached the owner and hit the victim in the head, investigators said. The owner believed he was struck by the butt of a gun.
But the store owner was able to fight off the would-be robber, deputies said. The owner then took out a gun and shot at the suspect as he was running into the woods. The suspect was not hit and escaped, deputies said.
Red Pittman was inside the store at the time of the incident.
"I didn't hear nothing. All I heard was gunshots going off...So, I open the door and ask him if he's alright ...He said yeah because he kept on shooting," Pittman said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Pitt County Sheriff's Office at 252-830-4141.
The store had been the target of robberies in the past, said investigators. Money was stolen during two armed robberies on May 1 and May 10. Deputies said they did arrest a suspect in those cases- Jay Chavis, who remains in jail.
There was also an attempted robbery at the store on Nov. 10, investigators told NewsChannel 12. No arrest had been made for that incident.