Store owner robbed & shot, suspect on loose

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Columbus investigators say a reward is being offered for the capture of a gunman who robbed and shot the owner of a local liquor store.

Just before noon Monday, George Rowell, the owner and clerk at Big O's Package Store on Cusseta Road, says a man came into his business with a gun and demanded money. Rowell says he handed over cash and that's when the gunman shot him in the leg and took off.

Surveillance footage reveals how the incident played out. You can see the armed suspect come through the front door of the store, run to the back office and bring Rowell back out to the cash register with a gun pointed in his face. After a money bag is exchanged, the gunman backs Rowell into a corner and after several moments, you can see him fall to the ground and the robber run back out the front door.

The suspect is described as a black man, 6'2, heavy set, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black cloth over the lower half of his face, black pants and white and black shoes. His getaway car is described as a white sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry, according to reports.

Rowell was taken to the Medical Center for treatment. He's listed in critical condition, according to officials at Columbus Regional.

The store was closed Tuesday but an employee tells WTVM this is the third armed robbery at the business this year. The longtime employee declined an interview but says Rowell, his friend, is lucky to be alive after the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call Columbus investigators at 706-653-3400.

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