Gas station clerk shot on Indianapolis' southwest side

A side view of the suspect police are looking for.
A gas station clerk is fighting for his life after police say a robber shot him in the head Wednesday night on the city's southwest side.

It happened in the Kicks 66 convenience store at the Phillips 66 gas station in the 5200 block of West Troy Avenue around 10:15 p.m. IMPD detectives believe the man entered the store and fired at least three shots, one of which hit the clerk, 45-year-old Harry Briggs, in the head. Paramedics rushed Briggs to Eskenazi Hospital, where he's listed in critical condition. Police say his prognosis isn't good.

“There were no other injuries. We did have a customer and an additional clerk in the store at the time of the shooting and we may have had another customer out pumping gas at the time of the incident,” said IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams.

Police questioned them so they could learn more about the suspect.

Using interviews as well as the store's surveillance images, detectives say the suspect is a light-skinned black male, late teens to early 20's, 5-feet-10 inches tall, 180 to 200 pounds, with earrings in both ears.  He was last seen wearing a black and red Miami Heat hat, a black bandanna over his face, gray hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black and white sneakers.

A K-9 unit had to be called in to track the suspect who ran away as crews searched neighboring apartment complexes and sub-divisions, but that turned up no clues.

Late Thursday morning, detectives released additional details gleaned from the store's surveillance system.

"He's going to hide his face from the camera. He's carrying a shoe," detectives said Thursday morning as they narrated video of the suspect in action.

As the suspect approaches the store, video shows him using a shoe to keep the door propped open.

From there, a side camera shows him approaching the two store employees, putting a gun behind one's head and demanding money.

Three shots are fired and Briggs is struck in the head and collapses. The suspect then yells demands at the second employee.

"Hey," the suspect yells.

"I got it man, I got it man," the employee says.

"Hey," the suspect yells again.

"I got you," the employee says.

"I ain't playing with you," the suspect yells.

"I got you," the employee says as he rushes to give the money.

"Put the money in the bag right now, right now," the suspect demands.

In a matter of seconds, it's all over and the suspect can be seen skipping down the street with the stolen cash.

IMPD Chief Rick Hite calls the crime "senseless," especially since the clerks were cooperating with their attacker.

"So we are talking about a person who, obviously, has done this before and has a criminal history of sorts. This is the type of person we are saying we are going after," Hite said.

Police hope the video and the voice will stick out to someone.

"Hopefully it will jar someone's memory in the community that can call us with information about the identity of this subject," Sgt. Adams said.

Investigators don't believe that the 45-year-old store employee has family in the immediate area. Police say he was only on the job for just four days and was still in training when the masked robbery opened fire. As of Thursday morning, Briggs' sister was making plans to come see her brother, left fighting for his life.

"It’s really unthinkable. A guy just at work doing his job and from the video didn't put up any resistance and is shot," Sgt. Adams said.

Briggs had just moved out of a south Indianapolis apartment building. His former landlord described him as "super nice" and often took in people in need.

"He helped people sometimes. The last dime in his pocket, you know, a good man and I feel terrible," said Mary Black.

As Black hopes for Briggs' recovery, police hope someone recognizes the shooter.

"Someone knows who he is. They will hear his voice, they will see the image and they will know who he is," Hite said.

Officers don't believe the man got away with much cash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 262-TIPS.