Store reopens after bloody robbery

A 22-year-old man was shot around 11 p.m. Thursday during a robbery in the Super Mart Food Store in Manassas , said Sgt. Marc Woolverton, Manassas Police spokesman, Friday afternoon.

The robber entered the store with a handgun and demanded money. As the clerk tried to open the safe, the robber shot him three times, once in the head and twice in the torso, Woolverton said.

Police said the man who shot the clerk was black, 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing a red shirt and shiny blue pants.

On Friday, a wad of yellow police tape, the size of a basketball, held open the flap of a trash can in front of the convenience store at 8692 Liberia Avenue.

Strips of the tape fluttered in the wind as customers pulled on the locked door, peered through the stores plate-glass windows and walked away shaking their heads.

A cousin of the stores owner, who did not give his name, opened the store for Fridays early shift so the regular customers would not be alarmed.

The store owner was at Inova Fairfax Hospital with the clerk who was in critical condition .

“Its a family store. We didnt want to scare the people. If it was closed down, they would think something else happened,” the cousin said.

The cousin, who could not keep the store open until the regular 11 p.m. closing time, said he was a little frightened to come in and work.

“Today, when I came here, when I opened the door, I was scared. I wiped up blood from the floor and opened,” he said.

Barbara Gaskins, a regular at the store, said she was surprised someone shot one of the store clerks.

“I come in here two or three times a day. I know a lot of them. Theyre all so nice. Im in here at all hours. I could have been one of the victims,” Gaskins, 58, said in front of the store that shares the small strip mall with a tattoo studio, a laundromat, a dry cleaner and a barbecue restaurant.

Amanda Antonio answers phones and makes appointments at the tattoo studio and Brian Dent, a professional body piercer, has friends there. Both said the shooting makes them feel unsafe in the neighborhood.

“Its frightening just knowing that three doors down, people are getting shot in the head,” Antonio, 19, said.

“It pretty much makes you feel like youre not safe, no matter where you go. What are we supposed to do? Start carrying guns to protect ourselves?” Dent, 24, said.

“Its beyond me how someone could attempt to take someones life like that, especially over something as worthless as money,” Dent said.

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