CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A legally armed customer shot two robbery suspects inside a gas station in northwest Charlotte early Thursday morning, killing one of them, according to WSOC.
The shooting happened just before 4 a.m. at the 7-Eleven on Brookshire Boulevard at Lawton Road.
Police said that when they got to the gas station, they found 16-year-old Qwanterrius Stafford inside with a gunshot wound. He was taken to Atrium Health Carolina’s Medical Center, where he died.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the shooting started after Stafford and another teenage suspect, 17-year-old Brenna Harris, entered the gas station, wearing masks and armed with a gun, and went after a customer in the store, demanding belongings.
Then, the suspects tried to rob the store’s clerk.
Officials said the customer felt a deadly threat after one of the teen suspects pointed a gun in his face and robbed him. Police said that customer then fired his own legally carried weapon, hitting both suspects.
“Everybody has to make their own decision on whether their life is in danger or not,” CMPD Sgt. Brian Scharf said. “He had a concealed carry permit, was lawfully permitted to carry a firearm inside the store, which is probably why they didn’t know he had a weapon.”
A short time later, police said they found Harris on Saratoga Drive, which is about 2 miles from the gas station.
Officers said his injuries were not serious, and he was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Officials said Harris was charged as an adult with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and armed robbery from person.
Police said there are no charges at this time for the customer who fired his gun, but there will be an investigation and it will be sent to the district attorney. They said the investigation will determine if self-defense was justified.
According to CMPD, the store clerk was not injured during the shooting.
“You come to work as a store clerk, doing your job working a hard job at night and to fall victim of a violent situation like this, I can imagine, I’m sure they’re really shaken up at the least,” Scharf said.