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Store clerk shoots, kills robbery suspect

SEFFNER — A convenience store clerk shot and killed a man he thought was trying to rob him Monday night, deputies said.

Detectives don't think the robbery suspect was armed, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman J.D. Callaway said.

The incident happened at CNK Beverage Pit Drive Thru, 12002 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Seffner, at 6:41 p.m.

Neither man's name was released.

Callaway wouldn't elaborate on what transpired between the clerk and suspect before the shooting.

He said the clerk fired several rounds at the suspect, striking him inside the store. The suspect fled and collapsed outside in a grassy area, a witness said.

The wounded man was taken to Brandon Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:10 p.m.

Douglas "Shorty" Bedard, 53, said he was nearby when he heard shots. He went into the store to investigate. He said he was relieved to learn that the clerk, a man he calls "Chris," had not been hurt. He said the clerk cares about homeless people in the area and sometimes helps them out.

"He would have never shot a man if he didn't have to," Bedard said. "I seen the tears in his eyes. He didn't want to talk about it."

Records on file with the Florida Division of Corporations list Cres Vigil as registered agent for the business. He could not be reached for comment.

The store sells beer, soda and snacks. It shares space in a yellow, single-story building with a hair salon.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3383.

Store clerk shoots, kills robbery suspect 05/26/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 11:44pm]
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