Would-be robbers chased out of store by man with machete

CORDELE, GA (WALB) - Police are searching for these men who stormed into a Cordele supermarket and shot an employee as they were chased out by another worker with a machete.

Surveillance video shows five men with their faces covered run into the "Your Food Supermarket in Cordele last night.  One of them had a gun, but he was met by a clerk ready to protect his territory.

"One of the suspects asked for money the clerk then reached under the counter and grabbed a large knife." said Detective Ketorie Sales. "It looked like a machete-type knife and the suspect then fired several shots inside of the store, one striking one of the clerks."

The men ran out of the store empty-handed with the machete-packing clerk running after them. The store owner says he's fed up and will do what he has to do in order to protect his employees.

"I just bought a gun for my employee to shoot the person if it's left up to them, Also I have some other things to protect," said store owner Dennis Barot.

But investigators say what the clerk did wasn't the right move.

"You don't bring a machete to a gun fight," said Detective Sales. "Actually they're lucky they didn't get more serious injuries than they got. Don't fight back. Life is precious, you don't want to get hurt over a few dollars."

Detectives aren't sure who these robbers are.  But they say this crime is similar to the robbery of a convenience store Monday night.

"We've had a string of armed robberies in the last week or two. We believe they all may be connected. There are a lot of similarities," said Detective Sales.

The store owner says other groups have targeted his store. One week ago, masked men broke in and stole lottery tickets, cigarettes, and soda. On Friday, burglars used a sledge hammer to smash two windows.

Barot says if crooks come back when his store is open, his employees will be ready.

"I think they need to learn a lesson that if you try to hurt someone, someone will do the same to you," said Barot. "Now my employees will keep the gun here."

The clerk who was shot was treated for his injuries and is expected to be okay.

The owner is offering a $500 reward. If you recognize any of the men from the video, you are urged to call Cordele Police.

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