KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knox County deputies are searching for a man who tried to rob an East Knox County store with a knife, only to be chased off by the store clerk who was carrying a handgun.

The sheriff’s office says the suspect entered Danny’s Market, 1203 Andrew Johnson Highway, around 10:39 p.m., walked up to a customer waiting to pay for her items, held a knife to her throat, and demanded money from the store clerk.

The clerk refused to hand over the cash, instead pulling out his handgun and forcing the suspect to leave. The suspect used the customer as a shield as he backed out of the store and ran off. A witness tried to follow him, but lost him at Clear Springs Road off Mascot Road.

The suspect is described as a white male, around 25 to 35 years old with a stocky build. He was wearing a gray, long sleeved T-shirt; light blue jeans; and kept his head covered the entire time. He was also wearing possibly camouflage face paint.

Anyone with information should contact the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (865) 215-2243.