2 wanted after store clerk pistol-whipped during Columbia robbery

(Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)
(Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)

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COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Columbia police need the public’s help finding two aggressive gunmen who pistol-whipped a clerk before taking cash from the store.

It happened Sunday around 9 p.m. at the Columbia Discount Tobacco Store located at 500 North High Street.

Surveillance video shows two masked men carrying handguns and rushing into the store.

The video shows one of the gunmen hitting the 32-year-old clerk multiple times in the head and upper body with a gun.

The clerk is terrorized as the suspect holds a gun to his head while forcing him to empty the cash drawer.

The second robber seems agitated while keeping an eye on the front door.

The surveillance video shows the robbers roughing the clerk up again before forcing him to the back where he gives them money from the safe.

With the cash in plastic bags, the thieves rush into the darkness.

With blood on his face, the frightened store clerk calls 911 saying, “Yes, sir, I need help. They hit me with a gun. He took all the money and he hit me with a gun.”

News 2 spoke with Willie Potter on Friday. He said he is a frequent shopper at the store.

Once shown the surveillance video, Potter is appalled.

“Sad to see someone disrespecting people like that,” he said. “It’s disrespectful. That’s all I can say on it.”

Police said the bandits could be suspects in other violent crimes in Columbia.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call Columbia police at 931-560-1670 or Crime Stoppers at 931-381-4900.

News is committed to tracking crime across Middle Tennessee. Visit wkrn.com/crimetracker for the latest.