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Robbery attempt sparks shooting at internet cafe

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Dec 04 2012 07:43:57 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 04 2012 07:12:02 PM CST
GREENVILLE -

Two suspects were on the run Tuesday morning after a pre-dawn shooting at a local internet sweepstakes cafe, according to Greenville Police. 

Police tell us the incident was reported Tuesday around 5 a.m. at the H&L Business Centre, an internet sweepstakes cafe on Evans St. 

Upon arrival, the store clerk, Victor Hines, told police two masked suspects dressed in all black, entered the cafe.  One suspect was armed with a handgun and another suspect was armed with a shotgun, according to police. 

Hines told police the suspect with the handgun jumped over the counter to get to the cash register, and as he did so, the clerk fired his own handgun 2 times at the suspect.

At that time the manager, Gregory Richardson, said both suspects left the business without any cash.

Richardson explained how he felt when he heard the news.

"My first reaction was is my employee safe? Are the customers safe? As long as no one was hurt that was my main concern," Richardson said.

A customer who didn't want her name released said she was in the business with her husband until 2 a.m.

"People gonna get crazy when there's money around. Looney Tune," she said.

The woman said she knows the store clerk well and she always feels safer knowing he is around.

"That was very brave of him and dangerous at the same time. Money can be replaced; but you know, when they shoot you, you gone," she said.

There were eight customers in the business at the time of the attempted robbery.

The suspects were last seen running north toward the railroad tracks near East 14th St.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information about this and other internet sweepstakes café robberies should call the Greenville Police Department at 252-329-4315, or Pitt-Greenville CrimeStoppers at 252-758-7777. CrimeStoppers will pay a reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case.