Store clerk shot twice during robbery

HOUSTON - A northeast Houston store clerk was shot twice during a robbery Tuesday.

Police said shortly before 3:30 a.m., two frequent customers entered the Time Saver Gas and Grocery store on Mesa Drive near Tidwell Road.

After they purchased something and chatted with the clerk for a few minutes, one of the customers pulled out a gun and jumped through the clerk's window, surveillance video showed. The second one followed.

Investigators said the pair demanded money from the safe, but the clerk had difficulties opening it. When the crooks turned to leave, the clerk withdrew a weapon, police said.

Investigators said they are still piecing together what happened next, but during the confrontation, the clerk was shot in the stomach and arm.

The clerk managed to call 911 on a pay phone. He was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

A coworker said the clerk was not supposed to be working.

"He was supposed to get off at 10 o'clock, but the guy who was supposed to work didn't show up. So I stayed here with him up til about 1:15 because he was already tired," store clerk Oliver Norris said. "I wish I could've stayed up here because I wish this wouldn't have happened to Jimmy. That's a family man."

Police hope surveillance cameras inside and outside the store will help them catch the gunmen.

The owner said he has owned the store for three years and it has never been robbed. Police said the suspects came in the store almost every day and apparently live nearby.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.