Store owner sends robbers
on Monday, February 26, 2001, in the
"Store owner in gunbattle with robber"
By Bill Estep
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY -- A gunbattle during a robbery late Saturday in Pike County left a storekeeper
wounded, and maybe one of the assailants as well.
Russell Hall, owner of Hall's Midnight Market
at Robinson Creek, said a man armed with a pistol shot his son, Michael Hall.
Russell Hall then fired several shots at the robber, which drove him away.
"We shot the place all to pieces,'' said Russell Hall, 67.
Hall said two men, one with a gun, barged into
his store about 11:30 p.m. Hall keeps about 15 guns planted around the store to
defend himself, but the men came in too quickly for him to grab one, he said.
Hall said the armed man, wearing a ski mask,
addressed him by name and demanded his wallet.
"I thought somebody was pulling a prank on
me,'' said Hall. "When he cocked that gun and stuck it in my face, I knew it
wasn't a joke.''
Hall gave the robber his wallet, which
contained about $2,000.
The man was yelling at his accomplice to take
guns from a case in the store; Hall asked the assailant to let him get the key
for the case so the man wouldn't break the glass.
As Hall started behind the counter to get the
key, Michael Hall got a pistol from the chair where his father had been sitting
and shot twice at the armed robber.
The man fell against the cigarette case and
fired back, hitting Michael Hall once, his father said.
The bullet hit Hall in the right shoulder and
passed through his neck, lodging in his right shoulder, state police said.
Russell Hall then grabbed a gun he keeps under
the counter and fired several shots at the armed intruder from 5 to 6 feet away,
"I'm 100 percent sure I hit him,'' said Hall,
who has owned the store for 26 years.
The man ran from the store.
State police said in a news release that it is
possible Hall hit the robber once, though there were no signs on the scene that
the man was wounded.
Hall said state police alerted area hospitals
to watch for a man seeking treatment for a gunshot wound.
State police said the second robber had left
the store before the shooting started.
"He chickened out,'' Hall said.
Both suspects fled on foot, state police said.
Michael Hall, 40, an employee of Pikeville
Methodist Hospital, was listed in stable condition at the hospital yesterday.
Russell Hall said he's had the flu and his son
had been helping him at night.
Hall said the shootout could have been worse,
what with all the bullets flying. There was a female employee in the store, and
Hall's daughter-in-law and granddaughter had left a few minutes earlier.
"It was kind of a close call,'' he said.
State police described the armed man as white,
5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, wearing a black ski mask, brown shirt and vest
and blue jeans.
The other man was white, had nylon hose over
his face and was wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.
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