INDIANAPOLIS – An overnight gas station clerk is recovering after being shot by an unknown person on the near northeast side of Indianapolis.
The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Clark station in the 2900 block of East 38th Street. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers at the scene said the employee was confronting a person thought to be stealing from the store when the person pulled out a gun and shot him.
The shooter ran off and the clerk went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Another employee at the store said the victim had been released from the hospital and was recovering at home as of late Tuesday morning.
As police continue searching for the shooter, regular customers at the Clark station said the victim was a new employee at the store who didn’t deserve what happened to him.
“Yeah, he just started working here, it’s really sad,” said Penny Rice. “I’m sure this man has a family; you could have killed him.”
“It’s just nuts and it’s happening more and more,” said Norman Broaden. “Everybody has a gun, and everybody’s solution to a temporary problem is to try to kill one another.”
“I’ll probably change stores if this is going to continue,” said a woman who didn’t want to be named.
Police records over the last five years show IMPD has responded regularly to the Clark station for a variety of disturbances, assaults, thefts and robberies. Reports indicate there have been at least four shooting investigations involving the location during that time period.
Based on that history, State Representative Ed Delaney (D, Indianapolis) says the Clark station shouldn’t be allowed to remain open 24 hours without security improvements.
“If you’ve got a record of dangerous incidents for your employees, you’re either going to have to fix it or shrink your hours,” Delaney said.
Delaney has spent years pushing for state laws to increase security standards for convenience stores. Proposals have included requiring bulletproof barriers to protect employees, as well as lighting upgrades.
In this case, Delaney believes the owner should be required to increase staff levels, including security personnel, in order to operate 24 hours a day.
“There are gas stations in my neighborhood and elsewhere in the city that the only thing you can get at night is gas,” he said. “You can operate the pumps with your credit card. There’s nobody there.”
Delaney’s efforts to increase security requirements have been unsuccessful, he says, because the cost to store owners would be too great.
“We can’t lay it all on the cops,” Delaney said. “And we can’t lay it all on a guy making 8 or 10 dollars an hour who ends up getting shot. This is just not responsible.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call IMPD or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.