WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Pharmacist Ahunna Freeman said she took a risk leaving a pharmacy chain to pursue a connected relationship with her clients -- offering free deliveries, discounted prices and in-depth education about the medication prescribed.
But on Wednesday night, nearly three months since Southside Discount Pharmacy opened in Winston-Salem, Freeman and her employees faced attempted armed robbery.
"It's a serious problem in the pharmacy world. As a pharmacist, we all go to work knowing this is a possibility," Freeman said.
Officers responded to the Discount Pharmacy at 3085 Waughtown Street around 6 p.m.
It was discovered that the suspect entered the store demanding “all the prescription drugs” while pointing a long black rifle at employees.
Two employees were stocking the shelves at the time and one was able to run from the business. The remaining employee ran to the rear of the store at which time the suspect fled the store and got into a light colored Honda Accord.
A short time later officers responded to a shooting call at Plaza Hollow apartments near Discount Pharmacy.
The shooting victim later idenditifed as Phillip G. Sapp, 29, was being treated at Kernersville Medical Center for a gunshot wound to his foot.
A black rifle was then found inside a tan colored Honda Accord at the hospital, belonging to Sapp.
Officers say Sapp was not shot during the robbery but instead Sapp admitted his gunshot wound was self-inflicted. His injuries are non-life threatening.
Freeman said when police told her Sapp later shot himself in the foot, she realized the attempted robbery could have ended differently.
"If he really wanted to do something to harm us he could have done it. He really could have and inflicting pain up himself was a cry for help," Freeman said.
Freeman later realized that Sapp is one of her customers and plans to reach out to him in hopes that he'll get the help he needs.
"I know that within me what I'm doing is good so things like this will not stop us from chasing the goal of actually being able to help out the community," Freeman said.
The Winston-Salem Police Department requests that anyone with information regarding this crime contact Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.