Local News

Clerk Says He Works Too Hard to Allow a Robbery

Posted December 26, 2006 6:58 p.m. EST

— Fayetteville police say the would-be thieves had it all planned. They wanted to rob a convenience store.

What they had not counted on was a store clerk who foiled the plot because he just didn’t think it was right to let it happen.

Tony Draughon, 37, runs a small BP store on Clinton Road. A visit to the store shows that he stuffs a lot into a little space—from pigs' feet to pork rinds to peanut butter. There also is room for a strong sense of justice.

"You have to work too hard out here for somebody to come in off the street and try to take what a man's got," Draughon said Monday.

The incident began about 2 p.m. Saturday. Draughon said he was chatting with two of his regular customers when two strangers walked in wearing red bandanas over their faces.

One pulled out a handgun and aimed it at Draughon’s head.

"He was too nervous for me because he was shaking that gun, and I just told him to be calm. I told him he could have the money," the clerk said.

Draughon opened his cash register and began to take out cash, but he had a surprise for the men who had surprised him.

"I just let it fall to the floor, and then I reached for the gun and started shooting," he said.

With the 9 mm pistol he had below the counter, police said, he wounded Mark Tarver, 17, in the hip.

The two suspects ran out the front door, across the store parking lot and through woods to where a third man was waiting in a getaway car, police said.

The trio went to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where Tarver was treated, released and then arrested. Officers also arrested the other two suspects, whom they identified as Aaron Carmichael and Lamyer Campbell, both 18.

Draughon said he was more angry than afraid “cause I'm a workin' man, and I get up and go to work every day, and somebody come in wantin' to take your money and rob your place."

Investigators say they do not expect to file any charges against Draugon.

The three teenagers face attempted armed robbery and conspiracy charges. Each was held on $25,000 bond.