Gunman badly wounds Tampa grocery store owner

Tampa police investigate the area around Y&S Supermarket Wednesday afternoon, where police say a man shot the store owner. 

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Tampa police investigate the area around Y&S Supermarket Wednesday afternoon, where police say a man shot the store owner. 

TAMPA — An owner of a neighborhood grocery store was shot and badly wounded Wednesday afternoon in a robbery attempt, police said, and the shooter remained on the run.

The owner, Yasin A. Sara, 56, of Riverview was shot once in the abdomen and taken to St. Joseph's Hospital.

By Wednesday night, he had undergone surgery but was in critical condition, police said.

The robber came into the Y&S Supermarket, at 1202 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., with a handgun shortly after 4 p.m., said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

Several times, he demanded money.

As Sara came out from behind the counter, perhaps to confront him, the robber hit him in the head with the handgun, police said, then fired a shot.

No customers were in the store, and it was not clear whether the robber stole any money before running away.

Tampa police were searching for him, including with a helicopter, Wednesday evening. But they did not have a detailed description of him and asked anyone with information about the crime to call them at (813) 231-6130.

The family-owned store, which did not have a security surveillance camera, advertises deli goods, beer and "cool Gator sportswear" for sale. Sara's wife, Itbisam Sara, was at the scene shortly after the shooting, police said.

Katherine Scott, a frequent customer, looked on from behind crime scene tape to see what had happened. She said Yasin Sara frequently worked at the store.

Eric P. Newcomer can be reached at (813) 226-3401 or enewcomer@sptimes.com.

Gunman badly wounds Tampa grocery store owner 08/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:38am]

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