Local News

Gunfire Exchanged During Western Union Robbery Attempt

Posted October 9, 1996

— A store manager, known for chasing away robbers with a handgun she called "Old Betsy," was shot in the head during a robbery at the business.

Wednesday marked the seventh time in 15 years that Sue Atkins - who in the past had been slashed with a butcher knife and beaten - confronted a robber.

Atkins suffered a graze gunshot wound to the left side of her forehead, Durham police said. The wound did not appear to be life-threatening, officers said.

Doctors were still operating on Atkins late Wednesday night at Duke University Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The robber approached Atkins shortly before 5 p.m., Durham Police Officer R.A. Freeman said. Officers said Atkins fired a shot before she was wounded, but officers did not know whether the robber was injured when he fled the Western Union store.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Det. V.P. Bynum at 560-4440 or CrimeStoppers at 683-1200.

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