Mooresville robbery suspect lied about son's leukemia

Surveillance video of the convenience store suspect.

The man arrested for robbing a Mooresville convenience store says he made up a story about his son having leukemia.

Kelly Joe Gibson Jr., 31, was arrested Thursday in Mooresville. He was wanted after he allegedly took a female employee from the Circle K at SR 67 and Camby Road hostage as she took the store's deposit to the bank. She told police Gibson forced her into a car at gunpoint, driving her to a meat packing plant on Bolton Avenue hours later before leaving on foot.

The woman also told police Gibson apologized to her, saying his son has leukemia. But when police interviewed Gibson after his arrest, he told them he told the clerk he needed the money because of his son's leukemia because "it sounded better than saying he needed the money for heroin."

"For the people who do have children sick like that and really do have to suffer like that, that is taking advantage of somebody," said Circle K customer Jillian Khorey.

Gibson told detectives he was spending between $100-200 a day on heroin, shooting up at least 10 times a day.

The clerk involved in the robbery tells Eyewitness News she is doing fine. She sounds much better now that the man who attacked her in custody.

The probable cause affidavit shows that the victim thought the kidnapping and robbery was a joke because it was her birthday. She also told police that Gibson got mad when she handed over the store's deposit, saying it should be more than the $8,900 she gave him.

Police learned from security video that Gibson cased the store Monday morning, before his alleged crime. Another store worker told investigators she remembered Gibson "because she asked him if he wanted to donate a dollar to Riley (Hospital) and he came back with an attitude, saying somebody needed to donate to him."

Gibson told police he thought about robbing the store while he was walking in the area.

Mooresville Police say an anonymous caller to Crime Stoppers saw Gibson's picture on Eyewitness News and told police who their suspect was.

Customers at the Circle K are relieved.

"I have a daughter and I could not imagine not being able to pay for her medical bills, but I don't think I would go to that extreme for any reason, you know. I don't think that is any reason to try to rob somebody or yet alone kidnap them or try to take something that doesn't belong to you," said Sara Odem.

"You are on a busy road and you assume that you are safe. You want to go some place in broad daylight that is busy and you wouldn't assume something like that would happen," said Khorey.

Gibson told detectives he "just ruined his kid's life," adding that he was never getting out of prison for this crime. He has a criminal history including cocaine and marijuana charges as well as firearm arrests.

He was booked on charges of armed robbery, criminal confinement, possession of a firearm by a felon, carjacking and theft. Gibson was on house arrest at the residence where police took him into custody Thursday night.