Clerk's quick thinking keeps customers safe during robbery

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

ORE CITY, TX (KLTV) - Late Tuesday night, a man armed with an assault rifle entered the Handy Mart in Ore City. Store owner Salman Sultan found himself staring down the barrel of that gun, not believing it at first.

"First, I thought it was a joke, but after looking at the gun and everything [I thought], 'OK it's not a joke,'" said Sultan.

He recognized both men as frequent customers, and fearing for the safety of other customers, including a mother and child, he calmly talked to his attackers.

"I had to keep them calm for 20 minutes," said Sultan. "Well, the guy who came in, he was a regular. He comes in almost every other day so he knew there was a safe here."

It is one thing to be robbed at gunpoint, it is quite another to recognize those who are robbing you, and, in this case, Sultan did something very remarkable: He tried to talk the robbers out of their plan.

"It scared me, yes! Did I panic? No!" said Sultan. "I talked to the guy with the gun and I said, 'You don't want to do this, bro! You sure you want to do this? Just walk away from this.'"

"And, luckily the ones who was with a kid, she exited the door, and she called 9-1-1, and I think that might have saved my life."

Store security cameras were down, and Sultan stalled until police arrived. Corey Jimerson, 18, was caught trying to escape through a hole in the back of the store. Those who had loved ones in the store made sure to thank Sultan.

"Hey, man. Good job! Quick thinking. I'm glad you helped my family out. That was good thinking."

Cory Jimerson is charged with felony aggravated robbery. One other suspect is in custody and other warrants are expected to be issued in the case.

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