BAYTOWN, Texas -

Police say a convenience store clerk opened fire on a man who was trying to rob a store in Baytown.

Around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, witnesses said they heard gunshots coming from Alexender's Food Market.

"We saw the guy come out of the store," said one witness. "And the owner had the gun, pointing it at him. And the guy fell to the ground."

Police said it all started when a man walked into the store with a gun and ordered the clerk to give him money.  But instead of complying, the clerk made his own demand.

"The victim responded very quickly with a handgun of his own, demanding [the suspect] to put his gun down," said Lieutenant Eric Freed, with the Baytown Police Department.  "He did not, so the store clerk fired at least one time, hitting the suspect."

Investigators said the suspect was shot in the stomach and collapsed outside the store.  He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  His getaway car was later found in the parking lot -- still running.

According to police, the store had been robbed once before.

"They've been robbed so many times, I don't even blame the owner for getting a gun," one witness said.

No one else was injured in the incident.

The suspect's name was not released.