He hit the clerk with a gun, knocked him to the floor and then ran out of the store. That's the scenario that played out at the Freedom Value Center gas station around 4:00 a.m. Sunday.
Police say a six foot tall, 200 pound black man with dreadlocks walked into the Freedom store, got some drinks out of the cooler and then demanded cash at gunpoint when he came to the counter. When he didn't get it, he hit the clerk with the handgun.
Teresa Kirk has shopped at the store before.
"I'm really shocked that this gas station got robbed. That's sad. People work too hard," Kirk said.
Kirk moved her family to Sioux Falls from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, nine years ago to escape the crime in that city. She can't believe the clerk at the brand-new corner store was hurt during an attempted robbery.
"Trying to get by and people have got to rob people; to me that's not right. That's a scary moment right there," Kirk said.
Police say the clerk was knocked to the floor when he was hit and that the suspect didn't get any money. Officers don't know if the clerk could have done anything different to avoid injury because he was struggling to get the cash register open.
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"The clerk was unable to open the register and then our suspect struck the clerk in the head with a handgun. Once the clerk fell down to the ground, the suspect left the store," Sam Clemens with Sioux Falls Police said.
Police have had a pretty good track record with catching the criminals this year. Clemens says of the 29 robberies so far this year, police have made an arrest in 16 of the cases.
"We always encourage the clerks if they're confronted with anybody, whether they display a weapon or not, and they're asking for cash to provide the cash. In this instance, he wasn't able to get the register open and it escalated from there," Clemens said.
Kirk feels bad for the clerk but says despite the robbery, she still feels safe in the city.
"I still feel safe. I love Sioux Falls. This is my home. I love it here," Kirk said.
If you have any information call Crime Stoppers at 605-367-7007.