Woman rushes into action after man is shot inside Westland store

Posted at 9:38 AM, Dec 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-18 09:39:14-05

A Westland woman is shaken to the core after a gunman attempted to rob a 7-Eleven store, and then shot the manager as she was trapped inside the store.

The man, who police are still searching for, stormed into the store located on the 100-block of Venoy Street shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday.

“I thought he was popping the duffel bag, just adjusting it on his shoulder, when he shot in the air and starter hollering!” said the woman, who asked not to have her name printed, but wanted to get the story out.

The man, who is unidentified at this time, demanded both cash and cigarettes. The victim who spoke with 7 Action News was lying face down on the ground until he demanded she get up because the clerk wasn’t moving fast enough.

“I was just throwing the cigarettes in (the duffel bag) and he shot again and said, ‘You’re taking too long. Hurry up or I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill you!’”

Shortly after that exchange, the manager of the store came out from the back. The witness said that the two men argued back and forth. The witness took that opportunity to run to the back of the store allowing her to hide by the freezer.

The exchange continued for a little while before she heard a sound that she described like a popgun.

“I heard Sonny (the manager) say, ‘Call 9-1-1! I’m shot! I’m shot!”

Westland investigators say that after the manager was shot the suspect ran away from the area on foot. That’s when the witness started grabbing napkins and trying to stop the bleeding.

The woman, who is a medical assistant, started applying pressure to a wound on the manager’s face, and a second that she described as a hip wound that had exited the man’s back.

She noted that police rushed to the area quickly, and said she specifically said that she wanted people to know that they were very helpful.

A few hours after she was released from questioning she asked the staff at 7-Eleven how the manager was doing. She is a regular at the store because she lives around the corner, and noted that she knows most of the staff by name.

7-Eleven would not respond to media inquiries, but told the witness that the manager was doing better and was out of surgery.

“I’m just glad they’re okay,” she said, as tears streamed down her face. “It’s just a shame that this has to happen. I’m a medical assistant. I work to try to help people. It’s just sad, and it scares me.”

Westland Police said that this is an active investigation, but no suspect description has been given at this time.

7 Action News is working to obtain security footage from 7-Eleven of the event, but so far 7-Eleven’s corporate branch has not responded to media inquiries.