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Store clerk defends store against armed assailants

Originally ran here as:
"Clerk exchanges gunfire with 2 assailants at store"
by Amy Upshaw, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Tuesday, November 13, 2001

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS -- A clerk at Humphrey's Grocery store on Wolfe Street exchanged gunfire with two men trying to get inside the store Monday night, Little Rock police said.

A car with four men pulled up to the store at 2901 Wolfe St. at 7:15 p.m., said Sgt. Allen Quattlebaum. Two of the men -- one armed with a rifle and another with a pistol -- got out and fired at least one shot toward customers inside the small neighborhood store.

"One of the employees saw what was happening, retrieved a firearm and returned fire," Quattlebaum said. "I think [the clerk] said they got the door open 10 to 12 inches, that's all."

Bullets cracked the glass door of the store, which is in a residential neighborhood. The exchange lasted only a few seconds. Police said the men dropped their guns in front of the store before driving away.

Police still weren't sure late Monday night how many shots were fired.

The clerk was not injured, but one of the men may have been hit, Quattlebaum and Sgt. Gary Shelton said.

An unidentified man with a bullet wound in the chest was left at Arkansas Children's Hospital emergency room at 7:30 p.m. and later died, Quattlebaum said. His time of death was unavailable.

Shelton said police weren't "certain" whether the man who died at the hospital was connected to the shooting. Police were waiting for the results of ballistics tests.

No arrests had been made late Monday night. Witnesses were unable to provide detailed descriptions of the four men.

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