Store Owner Stops Robbery, Follows Would-Be Robber to Next Target, Shoots Him: Police

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A convenience-store owner shot and injured a would-be robber carrying a fake gun inside a south-city Walgreens after chasing him out of his own store.

The suspected robber -- identified by St. Louis police as David Cotner, 31, of the 1200 block of Wilmington Avenue -- was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and physically taking property from a victim.

Just before 8 a.m., Cotner tried to rob Kaiser's Grand Mart, at 5508 South Grand Boulevard, by giving an employee a note announcing the robbery. Police said he did not show or say he had a weapon.

See also: Cops Shoot Armed Robber, Catch Get-A-Way Driver After McDonald's Holdup: Police

But the robbery went awry when the gutsy shop owner intervened, sending Cotner fleeing from the store. While his employees called police, the store owner got in his car and tailed Cotner to the Walgreens less than half a mile south, at 5550 South Grand Boulevard.

When Cotner announced another robbery at the Walgreens, the store owner ordered him to get down on the ground. According to what the store owner later told police, Cotner pointed a firearm at him, so he fired his gun twice at Cotner, striking him in the upper shoulder.

Cotner's gun was fake, police said. His injury was not life-threatening.

Here's the full report from police:

Incident: Robbery 1st (Shooting)

Location: 5008 S. Grand (Kaiser's Grand Mart), 5550 S. Grand (Walgreens)

Date/Time: 1/7/14 @ 07:57 - 08:05

Suspect: David Cotner, 31-year old white male of the 1200 block of Wilmington Av.

Charges: Robbery 1st (2 counts), Armed Criminal Action, Physically Take Property from Victim

Bond: $100,000 cash-only

The suspect entered Kaiser's Grand Mart, located at 5008 S. Grand and gave a note to an employee announcing a robbery. The suspect did not indicate or display a weapon. The owner of the store intervened and the suspect fled out of the store. The employees of the store contacted this department. The owner entered his vehicle and followed the suspect, who was also in a vehicle, and observed the suspect then enter the Walgreens at 5550 S. Grand. The owner of Kaiser's Grand Mart observed the suspect announce a robbery inside the Walgreens and ordered the suspect to get on the ground. When the suspect pointed what appeared to be a firearm at the store owner, the store owner fired his gun at the suspect, two times. The suspect was struck in the upper shoulder and was conveyed to a hospital and was listed as stable. Investigation revealed the suspect's gun to be fake. On 1/7/14, the Circuit Attorney's Office issued warrants against the suspect. The investigation remains ongoing.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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