Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Richland County Sheriff Deputies are still searching for two suspects involved in an early morning robbery.
Deputies responded to the armed robbery call just after 1 a.m. Wednesday at the Corner Pantry Shell station on Forest Drive near Percival Road.
According to deputies, three men wearing black clothing and ski masks entered the store with handguns and began demanding money and lottery rickets from the store clerk.
Deputy Curtis Wilson says the men fired shots inside the store and the female clerk, in fear for her life, fired back and struck one of the suspects. He was transported to the hospital, where his condition is unknown.
Deputies believe a second suspect was shot, but he fled the scene with the third suspect.
"When you are in a situation like that and you have individuals who are coming in firing weapons, their intent is to do harm. If I am in that situation I know I am going to be afraid for my life because if they are firing their weapons already, who is to say what they are going to do. To me their intent was to do harm and to harm her," said Deputy Wilson.
A store front window was shot out during the incident. There is also a sign posted on the door that says, "For our safety, please do not wear hoodies or masks in the store."
Sheriff deputies continue to investigate the incident, and are searching for the two suspects.
If you know the men involved, or have any information at all regarding the robbery, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-3672)
You can also send a text with "TIPSC and your message" to 274637. Your tip could earn a cash reward of up to $1,000.