NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Investigators in North Charleston are searching for a man who they say shot a gas station employee multiple times early Monday morning.
It happened at the BP on the corner of Ashley Phosphate Road and Stall Road just before 3:30 a.m.
“Right around three o’clock, there was a gentleman that came inside the store,” said Puja Patel, daughter of the gas station’s owner, describing what happened.
She said the suspect went to the restroom, even though overnight employees – which consisted of a husband and wife team – told him the bathroom was out of order.
The husband was in the kitchen when the suspect came out of the bathroom.
“He turned around, looked at the male victim and just fired. He fired three times. One of the bullets hit his chest, which is currently in his chest right now,” said Patel.
Another bullet split open the victim’s chin, and a third shot through the edge of the back of his head.
The victim has been in surgery for most of the afternoon. Doctors said he will likely make it through.
Back at the gas station, you can still see two of the bullet holes in the wall of the kitchen.
“His wife was at the counter. She was shocked. She heard fires but she didn’t think her husband was shot,” said Patel. “He came to the counter; he sat the wife down in the corner at gunpoint. He took our change box that we have on the bottom, showed the gun to her. Thank God he didn’t shoot her, and then he ran.”
Her wounded husband was able to stumble out of the kitchen area where he fell to the floor.
A customer helped her call 911.
“It’s very shocking. You don’t believe it’s true until you see it with your own eyes. To be honest, when I was driving here, I was really shaking. I couldn’t even put my foot on the gas pedal. It was really bad. I was shaking because even though we are not family, they are like family to us. Like, they basically treat me as if I’m their own daughter,” said Patel.
Patel said doctors believe the victim will survive since the bullets did not hit any major organs.
As for the suspect, authorities are still working to identify the individual so they can bring him into custody. He is facing attempted murder charges.
Anyone with information should contact the North Charleston Police Department of Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.