Suspected robber forced gun into clerk’s mouth before shooting, friend says

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Courtesy Grand Rapids Police Department.

Courtesy Grand Rapids Police Department.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A suspect in an early morning armed robbery at a party store forced a gun into the mouth of the clerk before pulling the trigger and shooting him in the cheek, a friend of the clerk told FOX 17.

Police in Grand Rapids are now working to track down the suspect after he robbed the Bottlenecks party store in the 2000 block of Fuller Ave NE in Grand Rapids around midnight Saturday.

Police said the suspect entered the store, pointed a gun at the 34-year-old store clerk, and demanded money.  The suspect then shot the store clerk in the face and ran from the scene with an unknown amount of cash.

Manpaul Sing, a former Bottlenecks employee and good friend of the clerk, told FOX 17 Sunday afternoon his friend was forced into a back room at the store where the suspected robber placed the gun in his mouth. Sing said his friend put up a fight, grabbing the suspect's hand to force the gun away, which is why the bullet hit his cheek.

Sing, who would only identify his friend to FOX 17 as "Tony," said the clerk had been working at Bottlenecks less than a month.

"It’s kind of an odd thing to happen here, it’s more of a safe neighborhood," Sing said. "It was a random thing that happened, there was no motive behind it, just the money."

Tony was released from the hospital this afternoon and is recovering at home, Sing told FOX 17.

"It could have been a lot worse, he definitely got lucky," Sing said. "He was feeling better but he’s still traumatized, wasn’t feeling good, like obviously because he got shot in the cheek, you could see the blood stains."

Scene of armed robbery, shooting.

Scene of armed robbery, shooting.

Investigators used a K-9 unit to track the suspect early Sunday, but had no luck.

Police were only offer a vague description of the suspect who is believed to be a black man who is about 6 feet tall.  The suspect left the store wearing a black hoodie, quilted flannel shirt and black pants, according to investigators.

Anyone with information is being asked to call Silent Observer or the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616-456-3400.

FOX 17s Erica Francis contributed to this report.

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  • Commonsense

    Intetesting, a black man impersonating a white man to rob and attempt to murder. This is a hate crime. Where are the protests?

    • Lon

      He’s wearing a white bandana… I would ask if you are stupid but that is obvious. It’s a piece of human waste robbing a store, the color of the feces is irrelevant. Besides, the guy that was shot isn’t white, the shooter isn’t white, nor is the owner of the store white…. So what are you talking about?

      • Commonsense

        Impersonating a white person, for shame. If I do the same, it is considered a racial issue. Just saying, in reverse… Think about it! I have a brain…

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    Does anyone else see the person leaning back, maybe trying to hide, in the Mercedes possibly wearing a hoodie and on his phone? This might be nothing but it looks slightly suspicious as a reader.

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  • Bountyguy

    This Punk shot this Person and then stated he fought in the war he is a LIAR as no United States Military Personal would ACT THIS WAY.THIS PUNK IS DANGEROUS AND WHOEVER IS WITH HIM OR KNOWS ABOUT THE ROBBERY YOU MIGHT JUST BE THE NEXT ONE HE SHOOTS AND MAY NOT MISS THIS TIME. I wish this punk had the guts to not hide behind a mask and rob a store then try to kill the STORE CLERK WHO WAS WORKING FOR A LIVING WHILE THIS WELFARE COLLECTING THUG who dont work and wont work tries to kill him.I hope this wantabe thug punk gets what he has coming and also hope he dont like what I have to say also remember to LOCK UP IN PERSONAL PROTECTION WHEN YOU ARE CAUGHT YOU GUT LESS PUNK as they will get you in there .

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      But you can’t prove or provide one example of your hate rach towards whites.
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