Henrico convenience store owner forced out of shop at gunpoint - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Henrico convenience store owner forced out of shop at gunpoint

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

The owner of Henrico's Race Track Marketplace was forced out of his shop at gunpoint Friday morning.

Police say Walter Gaines, 19, turned himself in early Saturday morning. He now faces a list of charges, including robbery with a firearm and abduction.

The convenience store's owner, who asked to remain anonymous, says not only did he recognize Gaines, but he watched the teen grow up.

Henrico police say Gaines hid his face with a cap as he entered the Race Track Marketplace, a popular stop in the neighborhood.

"We come here to get groceries," said store regular Calvin Slade. "It's a shame when the neighborhood is going bad."

The store's owner says the suspect pointed a gun at him and demanded money from the register. He says the robber forced him out of the store at gunpoint. When they turned the corner of the building, the owner says he broke away, hoping a large propane take would block any shots fired.

Thankfully, there was no gunfire. The owner made it safely back inside.

He says he recognized the young man aiming a gun at him. He says Gaines and his family have visited the store often over the years. Yesterday, the owner says Gaines's father came in to apologize.  

The incident is the second time in recent months that a convenience store owner has been forced away from the building. In September, Paresh Patel was kidnapped from his Raceway Gas Station in Chesterfield. His body was later found near Ancarrow's Landing. Patel's killer hasn't yet been tracked down.

While investigators say there's no believed link between these cases, they do have words of caution for anyone finding themselves in similar situations.

Police say there's no set way to react if someone's trying to force you somewhere. They usually advise victims to cooperate. However, police say if you think you can get away safely, than it may be a chance worth taking.

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