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      Tifton store clerk shoots robber

      Tifton police officers responded to an armed robbery at Funny Fruit Thrift Store located in the 1400 block of North Tift Avenue Thursday evening.
      / MGN Online

      Tifton police officers responded to an armed robbery at Funny Fruit Thrift Store located in the 1400 block of North Tift Avenue Thursday evening.

      Responding officers were told that, at approximately 8:53 PM, a tall, heavyset black male had come into the store wearing a "baby blue do-rag" over part of his face, a dark blue shirt, and gray pants.

      The man was carrying what was believed to be a handgun wrapped in cloth.

      He confronted a store employee near the back of the business and demanded money.

      The employee pulled a handgun and shot at the man multiple times.

      He told the responding officer that he believed he had shot the man in the stomach. He said the man ran out of the store and he heard "the spinning of tires" like a vehicle leaving hurriedly. The employee's account was confirmed by a customer who was in the store at the time.

      T he officer secured the weapon and, later, turned it over to the initial responding detective.

      As the first of the officers started arriving at the store, a call also came about an accident with injuries at Old Ocilla Road and East 12th Street. They were told that it was possibly the suspect from the armed robbery.

      Tifton Police officers and deputies from the Tift County Sheriff's Office quickly responded there and determined that it was, in fact, the suspect from the robbery.

      35-year-old Bennie J. Hill of Tifton, was transported to Tift Regional Medical Center with multiple gunshot wounds. There, he died a short time later. An autopsy has been requested and the investigation is continuing.

      Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Terry Allen or Detective Jared York at (229)382-3132.

      The Tifton Police Department is grateful for the assistance provided by the GBI, Tift County Sheriff's Office, Tift County District Attorney's Office, Tift County EMS, Tifton-Tift County Fire Department, and Tift County Coroner's Office in this case.

      Stay connected to MySouthWestGA.com as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!

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