Alert customer alerts cops to shooting, hostage taking at store

Customer alerts cops to shooting, hostage taking at store

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Goose Creek Police say a shooting and hostage incident at a convenience store ended Monday evening after a suspicious customer alerted officers.

Robert Burnett is a regular customer at the Beer and Tobacco Food Mart on Redbank Road.

Late yesterday afternoon Burnett went there to buy some items.

A man outside told him the door was locked and he couldn't get the owner to answer the phone.

"I stepped to the left of the door and I noticed through a gap in his posters the cash registers were open, which is unusual for him to do," Burnett recalled. "At that point, something just clicked."

Burnett went to a nearby hair salon and asked someone there to call 911.

Then he and the other man went back to the convenience store.

"We both peered through the glass and we saw the alleged perpetrator on his hand and knees and I thought what I saw was a weapon in his left hand," Burnett said.

Police say the suspect in the store was 31 year old Christopher Gordon Flowers.

At the time, no one had any idea that Flowers allegedly shot the owner in the neck and finger and tied him up using scarves.

"Goose Creek officers were starting to dress up in SWAT. I mean with the things around them and weapons and everything," Burnett said.

Officers negotiated with Flowers using a cell phone.

"It just seemed like time went on forever at that point," said Burnett.

Finally, Flowers surrendered peacefully.

The wounded store owner got out alive.

Burnett knows the outcome could have been a lot worse.

"I just walked up to my friend, I hugged him and gave him a kiss on the forehead and said I'm so glad you're alive and that's pretty much it I've told this story a couple of times and I kind of get emotional a little bit, but he's fine."

A judge set Flowers' bond at $80,000 on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and use of a weapon during a violent crime.

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