Robbery suspect shot and killed by Dollar General Store manager

Robbery suspect shot and killed by Dollar General Store manager; family speaks out

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"He was my big baby. He was my oldest grandchild. I'll always remember him from when he was a little boy went to church saying his Bible verses," Mary Robinson said of her grandson. "He was my big baby. He was my oldest grandchild. I'll always remember him from when he was a little boy went to church saying his Bible verses," Mary Robinson said of her grandson.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The grandmother of a man shot in killed Wednesday outside a Dollar General Store in East Knoxville is sharing her thoughts on the incident and how her grandson will be remembered.

Wednesday night just before 8 p.m. there was a shootout between a robber and a store manager.

According to the Knoxville Police Department, an armed robber went into the Dollar General Store on Asheville Highway and the robber demanded money from the store's safe.

The store manager complied. The shooting occurred seconds later outside the store. The shooting happened in front of the store in the parking lot.

Multiple shots were fired. The robber was killed. As of now, police are not revealing the shooting victim's identity.

Mary Robinson is the grandmother of the robbery suspect. She found out her grandson had been killed two hours after the shooting occurred.

"Oh the pain, I can't describe the pain when they told me that. I just froze I couldn't do nothing, I just froze," said Robinson.

According to the Knoxville Police Department, the armed robber did get money from the store, but then only a few seconds after the robbery both the store manager and the robber went outside when an altercation occurred.

The robber was shot, then ran away. His body was found a block and a half away on Holston Drive.

The robbery suspect's grandmother wishes the store manager didn't shoot.

"I felt like he shouldn't have done it. He should have left everything up to the police," said Robinson.

Police recommend people give the robber what they want.

"It's certainly not worth losing your life over $20, $30, $100 or so, so we always tell people to comply," said Knoxville Police Department Spokesperson Darrell Debusk.

Robinson says her grandson has been in trouble in the past and since he had a record couldn't find a job, but she admits it's still no excuse.

"He still didn't have any business to try and do what he was doing. I'm so sorry that this happened, but I just ask the Lord to give me strength and hold me up and I know he will do it," said Robinson.

Robinson says she'll always remember her grandson as a sweet, loving little boy.

"He was my big baby. He was my oldest grandchild. I'll always remember him from when he was a little boy went to church saying his Bible verses," she said.

According to the district attorney's office, it is doubtful charges will be brought against the store manager based on the police investigation and evidence.

But the final decision should be made by the beginning of next week.

The Dollar General Corporate Office released this statement:

"At Dollar General, the safety of our customers and employees is a top priority. We are grateful that our customers and employees were not harmed during this armed robbery. We are cooperating with the authorities investigating this incident. We instruct our employees not to put themselves in harm's way to try to confront a robber or to protect company assets. The priority always must be safety. In addition, Dollar General employs a number of safety and security procedures in our stores. To protect the integrity of these measures, we do not comment on them specifically."

We spoke with 6 News Legal Analyst Greg Isaacs for perspective on when it's legal for a person to use deadly force.

"You are allowed to use the degree of force someone uses against you. If someone uses deadly force against someone at a business or on the street you're allowed to use deadly force to protect yourself," said Isaacs.

Isaacs also says you are not entitled to use deadly force if you are not in imminent danger.

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