Clerk who shot attempted robber: I had no choice

Surveillance video shows the confrontation between a clerk and a robbery suspect inside the M & M food market Thursday night. (Courtesy: M & M Market)

DARBYDALE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A clerk said he had no choice but to start shooting when a robbery suspect walked into his gas station.

Surveillance video shows the confrontation inside the M & M food market Thursday night.

On Friday evening, it was the talk among customers.

Franklin County court documents said 27-year-old Emanuel Hamm walked inside the food mart on Norton Road with a handgun.

The clerk didn't want to be identified, but said he knew something was up.

"He looked suspicious to me."

The clerk's suspicions were spot on. Police said Hamm planned on robbing the place, but the employee derailed those plans.

"As soon as I saw the gun, I pulled mine and I shot him."

The only thing on this worker's mind was his family.

"That was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the gun. I thought of my kids. Somebody thought it was an easy target and it wasn't."

Longtime customer Natasha Marcum is relieved the employee is okay. She was shocked her favorite store was robbed.

"We never have nothing like this. He's across from a school for God sake. They're here 24/7 to help everybody. Not to be robbed,” said Marcum.

A day after the attempted robbery, the clerk is shaken up

"It was really tough. It's not easy to shoot someone, especially with someone who never had to deal with guns."

The clerk was offered time off, but he decided to come back to work

"I need to talk. It's not just sitting home and doing nothing and thinking about what happened."

When this clerk thinks about what happened, he also thinks about the man he shot.

"I feel bad for him, but I didn't have a choice."

Hamm’s gunshot wound wasn’t life-threatening.

He’s charged with aggravated robbery and will be arraigned in Franklin County court Saturday morning at 9.

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