Community members fearful after store clerk killed in armed robbery at Circle K

Community members fearful after store clerk killed in armed robbery at Circle K

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A robbery at a local gas station turned tragic overnight, leaving a store employee dead.

Surveillance video from robbery has been released. Records show this isn’t the first time police are working a scene at this specific store.

In the early morning hours of Monday, a robbery at the Circle K ended in shots fired and store clerk, 26-year-old Dontrell Williams. dead.

“It’s a scary situation and I patron the Circle K all the time," said Jackie Williams. "So, yeah I’m not sure how to take this one right here.”

The corner of Forrest Road and Floyd Road is no stranger to crime. Records show Columbus Police have been called out here more than 100 times in the past year. In fact, local store owners are making changes because of it.

“Crime ratio is going up here,” said Vitay Kotak, a nearby store owner. "Before, one and a half year we were running this store 24-7, but after crime is going up, I close my store at night.”

Police released crime scene surveillance footage, hoping the community can help identify the person who pulled the trigger. The suspect is seen wearing some sort of Mask, a grey hoodie and a reflective vest. Community members said they wish the store had better security, for the public’s safety and for Williams’ sake.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think Circle K has bulletproof glass, so these kinds of tragic accidents are taking place,” said Kotak.

“It’s so sad. I wish there will be some sort of initiative to have some sort of security at these stores that are open 24/7," Jory Scott said. "Cameras can only catch it later on. We need something to be proactive for the cashiers and the employees.”

One woman said she goes to this Circle K often, but this violence makes her hesitate. When asked if she would go back...

“I’m not sure. I’m not sure about that," she said, "I’m hoping they find whoever did this and serve them justice.”

Circle K officials were on scene Monday. They didn’t want to go on camera but said they’re working with law enforcement and their thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family.

If you recognize the person in the surveillance footage you’re asked to call the Columbus Police Department Homicide Unit at 706-225-4268.

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