INDIANAPOLIS -- An attempted robbery at a south side Indianapolis gas station ended with the suspect dead after the clerk shot him late Monday night.
It happened around 11:40 p.m. Monday at the Phillips 66 gas station in the 3200 block of S. Keystone Ave. Indianapolis Metropolitan police were called to the location on a report of a person shot.
Just before midnight, police say an armed thief walked into that gas station to steal some cash, but he was met with armed resistance. Investigators say the clerk shot and killed the robbery suspect.
"The guy came in and he had a gun on him. He demanded money and things went bad,” customer Brian Nordby.
The suspect was later identified as 20-year-old Levi Walker. His cause of death is two gunshot wounds to the torso.
Brian says the station’s owner shot the Walker from point blank range. Walker was carrying a gun and stumbled out of the store before collapsing and dying in the parking lot.
"When our officers arrived, they spoke with the clerk who stated that the individual that was deceased in the parking lot had come into the business to rob him, at which time our clerk felt the need to shoot our potential armed robbery suspect, and that suspect then fled out of the business where he fell deceased in the parking lot," said Major Richard Riddle with IMPD.
“I have seen what went on and in my eyes it's self-defense,” said Nordby.
The gas station has lots of cameras inside and outside. Nordby says his dad works as a clerk at the business as well, and he’s seen the surveillance video of the shooting. Nordby doesn’t fault the owner for what happened.
“This kind of sends a message that if you go in to rob somebody with a gun, they have all the right to self-defense. He defended himself and I'm glad he didn't get hurt,” said Nordby.
Customers say the station’s owner has been robbed several times in the past.
“They think it's an easy target, but he’s not an easy target. He's gonna take it into his own hands if his life is threatened,” said customer Mark Simpson.
According to the police report, right now police consider the case a justifiable homicide. Both Simpson and Nordby agree.
“You know a man's got the right to defend his life and his property. You take a chance if you're the bad guy and go into a place to rob it,” said Simpson.
Police do have surveillance video from inside the gas station to back up the owner’s story. Investigators did not want to release that video today.
Ultimately, it’ll be up to the prosecutors office whether or not to seek any criminal charges in the case.