Crime Tracker: Shot Fired in Marion Robbery


By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- Clerks at the Dollar General on North Court in Marion were just about to close up Wednesday night, when a man walked up to the counter with a gun. He demanded money and fired an apparent warning shot.

That bullet narrowly missed an employee's head. The suspect got away with money, and is still on the loose. The violent crime is now a top priority for Marion police. They need the public’s help to get him off the streets.

Two unsuspecting store clerks spoke with customers just before 10 p.m. Then a hooded man walked up to the front counter pretending to have a purchase. He showed a small handgun. The employee thought it was a prank, until he fired a warning shot. 

“We're just thankful he didn't shoot at the clerk,” Chief Dawn Tondini explained, “Now we’re concerned about someone out there with a weapon. That's obviously not afraid to fire the weapon.”

The suspect covered his face, but Chief Tondini is confident someone will recognize him.

He’s described as a white man 50 to 60 years old, standing around 5’7". Beyond that, it's anybody's guess.

“I said ‘are you kidding me?’ That’s right across the street and I was very shocked. It just gives me goosbeumps to think about it because it’s right across the street. That’s really close to home,” added Lily Baldwin.

She works at the laundromat nearby and worries the robber could come back and target other businesses.

“What am I gonna do? Not turn my back on this place. That’s for sure, I always got my eye open who comes in these doors,” Baldwin said.

Surveillance cameras inside her workplace bring her some comfort. It's what Chief Tondini counts on in these cases.

“If someone comes in and demands money, give them the money. Protect themselves first,” she advised.

Tondini says it's unusual for a robber to shoot during crimes like this; another reason police want to catch their suspect quickly.

Marion police have increased patrols in the area. The Dollar General was open for business as usual Thursday.

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