by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
COLUMBIA, Tenn. – A convenience store clerk stared down the barrel of a gun early Tuesday morning during a robbery attempt in Columbia. Minutes later, another robbery was in progress in Spring Hill. Police said both incidents are related.
Just before 3 a.m., surveillance video showed a man walking into the Quik Mart on Nashville Highway in Columbia. His face was wrapped with towels or a cloth.
“You don't know if at that point and at that moment are you going to live or is this going to be your last day,” clerk Porcha Dodson said.
The robber headed straight to the counter and pointed his gun directly at Dodson.
“As soon as he said ‘give me all of your money,’ I ducked,” she recalled.
Dodson pressed the silent alarm and yelled for her co-worker in the back.
Meanwhile another man, with an American flag bandanna covering his face, came in with a black bag. Both left without taking anything.
Twenty minutes later, another armed robbery was in progress four miles away in Spring Hill at the Daily’s convenience store at the corner of Main Street and Buckner Road.
Surveillance video showed a man, again with his face wrapped, storm into the store. He entered with his gun drawn and a black bag in his hand. The robber got away with $150.
“They had the same clothes, both the suspects,” Spring Hill Lt. Justin Whitwell said about why detectives believe both incidents are relater. “(They had the) same build (and) same mannerisms.”
It's an experience Dodson continues to relive.
“Only thing that replays in my head was if he was to be scared, or if somebody was to walk in the door and he got scared he would've shot me,” she said. “That's how close (he was) and he wouldn't have missed.”
She was thankful the outcome wasn't different.
“It just kind of let me know I was beyond blessed to even still be here," Dodson said.
Still it was too close of a call for Dodson -- who quit her job as a result of the incident.
If you have any information you’re asked to contact Spring Hill or Columbia Police.