Clerk shot at High Point convenience store home from rehab

Piedmont Triad News

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) –A store clerk is sharing his story for the first time publicly after being shot inside a High Point convenience store.  

We first brought you this story in July when a suspect fired several shots at an Apple Tree Grocery convenience store worker.    

The victim, Awais Athar, is now back home working towards a full recovery. Athar said he thought he was going to die.  

He told FOX8 he woke up that day with a feeling in the pit of his stomach that something bad was going to happen.  

What unfolded in a matter of seconds has him saying he doesn’t ever want to return to work in a convenience store.    

“The shift started at 6 p.m.,” Athar said.

Saturday, July 31 started as a typical day for the former convenience store worker. The 31-year-old, originally from Pakistan, was working in the beer cooler that day. 

“Filling beer, cleaning up, take down everything,” he said.

A little before 10 p.m., two men entered the cooler.   

“It’s against the rules for you to be back here,” he recalled telling the men. “You shouldn’t be back here. It’s an employee’s only zone.”

The situation quickly escalated. The man in the surveillance video wearing a white shirt can be seen drawing his gun.  

“When he shot…he (did) not stop,” Athar explained.  

Seven of the 11 shots fired hit Athar.  

“Two bullets were in his bladder. Two in his back. Two here (kneecap) and here (points to foot),” he said.  

Miraculously, he was able to walk out of the cooler on his own after being shot. 

“I stand up and walk and go out. I pulled out my mobile and phoned my boss’ number. I said, ‘come on, man, someone shot me.’ He said ‘I’m coming,’” he recalled.  

He underwent two major surgeries to remove all the bullets. Athar would spend the next two months in rehab so that he could take steps on his own again. 

“Faith in God that he would be able to walk again,” he explained.   

It’s an instance he’s played over and over in his head every day since it happened.  

Even now as the surveillance footage was replayed for him in his living room, he’s still grappling with how that situation could have ended his life.  

Now that police charged 52-year-old Mario Harrison with attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, Athar is taking steps to a full recovery. 

As for the other man seen in the video, High Point police said their investigation revealed he was not involved in the crime. Police believe he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.  

Harrison is awaiting trial.  

While Athar doesn’t have plans on returning to work at the store, he said the store owner and his own family have been supportive throughout his healing process.  

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