CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Police say a gas station customer was acting in self-defense when he took matters into his own hands Thursday morning, shooting two suspects who tried to rob the store.
Chaotic moments broke out just before 4 a.m. at the 7-Eleven in the 4800 block of Brookshire Boulevard.
Police say the two teenage suspects, identified as Qwanterrius Stafford and Brenna Harris, first robbed the customer of his wallet before turning their attention to the store clerk.
"They immediately went straight to him, pointed a gun at him, within inches of his face, very aggressively pointed a gun at him," Sgt. Brian Scharf with CMPD said.
They had no idea that customer inside had a lawfully concealed gun until he fired shots at both suspects.
Stafford, 16, died inside the store, according to investigators. Harris, 17, got about a mile and a half away on Saratoga Drive before police took him into custody.
"I believe in self-defense. It's certainly not something we like to see, but everybody has to make their own decision whether they're life is in danger or not," Sgt. Scharf said.
Police were on scene at the 7-Eleven for most of the day. Blood could be seen just inside the door, and two handguns were recovered. Police say one gun belonged to the patron, and the other was in Stafford's possession at the time of the robbery.
The suspects did show the store clerk a gun, but that person was not physically hurt, according to police.
"You come to work as a store clerk doing your job, a hard job at night and you fall victim to a violent situation like this, I'm sure that they're fairly shaken up at the least," said CMPD's Lt. Bryan Crum.
Police say they're looking into whether Stafford and Harris are responsible for other robberies around Charlotte.
Harris was treated at the hospital for a non-life threatening injury, then taken to police headquarters for questioning. Harris is being charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and armed robbery from person.
As for the customer who shot the accused robbers, CMPD says he acted in self-defense. The District Attorney will also review that decision.
Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to call CMPD at 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a homicide unit detective. Detective C. Sinnott is the lead detective on this case. The public can also call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.