Durham Police Searching for 4 Suspects After Violent Store Robbery
Posted July 9, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Two people were shot and a third was hit with a pistol during a violent robbery at a Mexican grocery store in Durham Monday.
Police say the suspects marched into Tienda Mexicana Mi Barrio, located on the 2400 block of Guess Road, about 2:30 p.m. They demanded money and then opened fire.
"One gun shot was all I heard. My customer came in and asked me what was going on. I said 'I don't know but I just heard a gunshot'" says Minnie Ellis who owns a business next door to the store.
Detectives say one of the suspects apparently fired a warning shot into a slate pool table in the back of the store. They believe the bullet split in half and then ricocheted into the chests of two victims.
A third victim, who was hit in the head with a pistol grip, dropped a pool cue as he staggered out after the robbers.
Police say as many as four black men may have been involved. Witness say they left the scene in a black Chevrolet Blazer.
"Some people believe [Hispanics] are easy targets. We've dealt with that mind-set, if you will, ever since they've come to our community," says Sgt. Fran Borden of the Durham Police Department.
Borden says the business may have been targeted because of its money wiring service. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the store.
The victims were taken to Duke University Hospital, where they are listed in serious condition. Their names have not been released.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Durham Police Department at560-4440.