A regular customer was headed for the cash register to play the lottery early Friday when he noticed the man in front of him had a gun.
At 6:30 a.m., just after King’s Food Mart opened up at 2765 Houston Ave., the gunman walked in the door with his silver gun drawn, according to surveillance video shared with The Telegraph.
The customer, who comes in every day to “play his numbers and get a drink,” the store owner said, stepped back into a rack of snacks, sending hanging bags of chips swaying as the gunman demanded money.
The robber, wearing a ski mask and dressed in a black insulated jumpsuit, stepped back to the door and overturned a newspaper rack to prop the door open, apparently to prevent an automatic locking of the door and slow down anyone trying to come after him.
He then went around the counter, got the money and left the store at the corner of Hightower Road and crossed the parking lot back toward Houston Avenue.
Bibb County sheriff’s deputies were called to store just after the robbery which happened on a day many people come to cash checks, said owner Sam Patel, who has had the store since 1995.
“If you come at night, you won’t find any street lights,” Patel said. “If my lights are not on, it’s completely dark.”
Officers roped off the parking lot at the corner and started looking for the gunman.
Deputies combed the streets and talked to employees at nearby businesses to determine if they had seen anything.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance images in hopes of identifying the armed robber.
The store was closed for about two hours during the investigation.
Shortly after the doors reopened, another regular customer came in to play the lottery.
“I’m sure glad you’re alright. I was scared,” she said