ALBEMARLE — On the evening of Friday April 2 at just before 8 p.m., an armed man entered Hibbett Sports in Albemarle, at 814 NC 24-27 Bypass East, with the intent to rob the store. The suspect entered “wearing a mask and a black hoodie,” according to an Albemarle Police Department press release.
Soon after entering, the suspect displayed a handgun and attempted to force the clerk to hand over both money and a phone. The clerk refused to cooperate with the armed suspect, and the situation escalated. The suspect then fired his weapon inside the store, but no one was struck with the shot.
“Nobody was injured,” Captain J.T. Cranford, a detective with the Albemarle Police Department, told SCJ during an April 5 phone call, while adding that because of the shot, “There was some minor damage to the store.”
After the shot was fired, both the clerk and the suspect ran outside, for reasons Cranford said he is not at liberty yet to disclose. The suspect then fled the scene in a “black, newer model, sport utility vehicle,” which the press release said may be a jeep.
Detectives from the APD quickly arrived on scene and began to investigate, but have not identified the perpetrator.
“We do have a few leads that we’re following up on, but nothing I can disclose or release as of yet,” Cranford said. He added that it’s not clear what the connection, if any, there is between the store and the suspect.
Cranford did say the circumstances of the incident are a little unusual, saying, “I would say it’s not something that’s very common. This was a bit different of an incident than what we usually come across.”
With the suspect still at large, the APD press release concluded by asking anyone that has any information about the incident or the identity of the suspect to contact the Albemarle Police Department at (704)-984-9500. The department also has an anonymous tip line where any information can be disclosed at (704)-984-9511.
The suspect is described as a black male in a black hoodie driving in a black SUV.
SCJ reached out to Hibbett Sports for comment on the incident, but they declined to comment.