Armed robbers hold gas station employees at gunpoint

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   In the early morning hours on Wednesday, two men wearing bandanas over their faces entered a local gas station and pointed a handgun at employees, demanding they hand over money from the cash register.
   Elizabethton Police Department Detective Ed McGee said the two men entered Roadrunner Market on West G Street just minutes before 5 a.m.. He said store employees stated that "one brandished the gun while the other one stood there with his hands in his pockets."
   After taking an undetermined amount of cash from the store, the two men fled on foot, headed west.
   According to McGee, the robbery happened quickly. "It all took place in less than a minute, according to the manager," he said. "They came in, demanded the money, took it and left."
   Employees told investigators the men verbally threatened them. "They had a gun; that's enough threat," McGee said. "They kept saying, 'Give me the money! Give me the money!' and using foul language and four-letter words."
   Some witnesses saw the two men on West D Street in the area of Elizabethton High School. One, whose name was not released, said the men entered a small white or silver car with a loud muffler and were traveling east on E Street.
   McGee emphasized that armed robberies occur more often in surrounding cities. "We are very fortunate here. Most of what we have is theft, and very seldom do we have an armed robbery, and that is because the patrol officers patrol the local businesses, and the crooks know that, and they do not want to get caught."
   One of the men is described as white, approximately 19-21 years of age, about six feet, one inch tall, and wearing a gray pullover-type shirt that has black vertical stripes, a black collar and black cuffs, and blue jeans and a ball cap. The other man is possibly Hispanic, about five feet, nine inches tall, with a heavy build and wearing a pullover hooded gray sweatshirt.
   McGee said investigators will contact Johnson City police and ask if either suspect or the vehicle are linked to any Johnson City armed robberies. "I know they have had several lately," McGee said.
   Anyone with information about the incident may call McGee at 547-6415, EPD Detective Matt Bowers at 547-6409 or Detective Jason McCall at 547-6225.