BAYTOWN, Texas - Baytown police say the city has seen an uptick in armed robberies as compared to this time last year.
Police say many of the incidents, about 10 of them, since the start of the year can be attributed to the same individual or group of individuals. Until this week, no one had been shot in any of the robberies.
"It's just not normal," Baytown Market owner Samir Patel said. Patel's convenience store clerk was met by armed robbers on Sunday, after he came out of the bathroom.
One of the men held a gun to the clerk's head and led him to the booth behind the cash register while the other man stood watch at the front door.
Video surveillance shows the clerk was pistol whipped by one of the men, then thinking it was his only shot at survival, he grabbed a metal rod and began to fight back.
"He ran back and tried to hide but by then they'd already shot him on the knee," Patel said. "That's when the two of them just started shooting at him and then they walked off."
Baytown police Lieutenant Steve Dorris says he would not recommend fighting against armed robbers, but sees how the clerk might have made felt he had no other option.
"Unfortunately, at some point people have to make a decision," Lt. Dorris said. "If you think there's a very good likelihood that you might die in this incident, people are going to do what they need to survive."
The clerk was shot five times, including his legs and face. Patel says his employee was released from the hospital yesterday but he is not able to walk and has a bullet lodged in the back of his head.
Baytown police say they have identified and charges have been filed against one of the suspects seen in the video, but the man has not yet been caught. Police say they are withholding his name until he is arrested.
Lieutenant Dorris says until the armed men responsible for the recent increase in Baytown robberies are caught, he fears the worst could possibly happen.
"One of these people is going to kill somebody," Lt. Dorris said.
Patel says a GoFundMe page has been created to help his employee with his current medical needs. Click here to read more.