CARTERSVILLE, Ga. - Police said when masked men walked into a convenience store in Cartersville and started firing, the clerk pulled out his gun and shot back. One of the masked men was hit and killed and police are still looking for two others.
It happened at the Sunoco on Highway 411 around 3:30 Tuesday morning.
The clerk, James, said there were 5 people in the back of the store playing video games before the shooting happened. He said he saw two men walk in wearing masks and they were armed. According to James, he jumped in the back room and tried to shut the door, but one of the men was trying to push it open from the other side.
“We were about a foot apart looking one another in the eyes. I knew he was fixing to start shooting, or I thought he was, so I reached around the door and shot him,” James told FOX 5.
James said he fired three shots and the intruders fired four.
Police said one of the masked men was hit. When investigators arrived, the man was found dead just outside the front door of the store.
Police said the other man took off with the cash register and a getaway driver in a dark colored SUV with temporary tags. Police are still looking for them.
Customers and other employees said they're relieved James wasn't hurt.
“We're just thankful he's okay and we just don't tolerate people coming in and trying to take things from us,” said Clara Mullinax, a clerk at the store.
Scott Devine is a regular customer here, and said he has been worried about James.
“He's such a good guy. He had to do it, I feel, if it was my choice, I'd have to do the same,” says Devine.
James said it all happened very fast, and still seems surreal.
"Every situation is different but if you don't fight back against these criminals, they will take us over, and if you don't fight back, you won't have a chance,” he said.