Clerk shot in last of rapid gas station robberies

Clerk shot in last of rapid gas station robberies
Surveillance video of the suspected robber. (Source: MPD)
Surveillance video of the suspected robber. (Source: MPD)
Surveillance picture of the suspected robber. (Source: MPD)
Surveillance picture of the suspected robber. (Source: MPD)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police are investigating four gas station robberies and a connected shooting Monday morning.

Police said the same man robbed four gas stations in the East Memphis and Orange Mound area between 6:15 a.m. and 7:05 a.m.

The targeted locations include an Exxon on Rhodes Avenue, a Mobil Gas Station on Getwell Road, a Valero Gas Station on Prescott Street, and a Citgo on Cherry Road.

Police released surveillance video showing the suspect. If you can identify who he is, please call Memphis Police Department at 901-545-2677(COPS).

Police said when the suspect robbed the Z Mart affiliated with the Citgo on Cherry Road, he also shot the clerk.

The clerk was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

Fortunately, the clerk, Hasan Ayesh, is expected to be OK.

Ayesh's daughter said she could not believe it until she saw her father in the hospital bed.

"You know, he supports us and he's the one taking care of us and helping make our dreams come true," Sundus Ayesh said.

Ayesh immigrated to America from Palestine as a young man to build a better life. Sundus, his oldest child of six, said she has one thing to say about the man wanted for shooting him.

"I hope God shows him the right way, and somehow something positive turns out of everything, that's all I can say," she said.

The doors to the Z Mart are locked and an error message is displayed on the pumps. A blood splatter in front of the door shows how violent things turned.

This robbery is just one of seven that happened Monday, with a separate robbery spree striking three businesses.

"It's gotten a little more dangerous the last year," Gerry Callicutt said.

Callicutt has lived in the area of the Z Mart for 20 years, but within the last year, he said crime has gotten worse.

Last month, 20-year-old Abdul Sidar, Ayesh's cousin, was shot and killed during a robbery at the store. The gas station owner was able to chase the robbers, shooting one of them in the street.

"It's all just so weird--the same store twice," Ayesh said.

Callicutt said now said the time for neighbors to keep an eye on each other.

"Just watch what I do and watch what I say," he said.

Police are searching for a Hispanic man wearing a black bandana and a black-hooded jacket. His car has Mississippi tags and may be a white Tahoe.

Throughout the spree, the man stole money, cigarettes, and a shotgun.

"I was petrified," Andrew Thomas said. "There's so much violence going on in Memphis. I'm just speechless about it."

"Ya'll need to catch him," Cherry Echols said. "If I see him, I'm going to turn him in, because this don't make any sense."

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