Convenience store customer helps stop armed robbery suspect

The Big Cat Convenience Store off Woodland Drive in Russell County was quiet Friday, but Thursday, the store owner and a loyal customer were shocked when a man armed with a rifle approached them. 

Surveillance video released by the store show a man armed with a rifle under a camouflage jacket walks into the store.  Two people who had been sitting outside followed.  The man points his rifle, gesturing toward the cash register.  A customer holds up his hands.

"So, I took my arm and slapped the rifle to one side and I reached with my other hand to grab the rifle and I flung him down," said Gene Taylor, the man who helped to stop the suspect identified by sheriff's deputies as 20-year-old Christopher Sizemore.

The store own Kristy Presley recounts what happened when she and Taylor walked into the store.

"When we walked in, he told us he was not joking, that it was loaded and to give him all the money.  Then he stuck the gun in Gene's face and Gene grabbed the gun and he [the suspect] shot it," said Presley.

Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor says after a car chase that led to the suspect abandoning his vehicle, deputies were able to arrest him.  The sheriff says Sizemore later confessed to this robbery and to using crack cocaine

"During the investigation, we have come across some information that leads us to believe that he is also a suspect in one of Columbus's robberies," said Sheriff Taylor

Presley says she is thankful Sizemore is off the streets and that her friend was there to help.

"I owe that man my life.  I do, I do.  He saved my life yesterday.  I believe if he wouldn't have been here it would have been much worse than what it was," said Presley.

Presley also praised the Russell County Sheriff's Office for making an arrest so quickly. 

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