A judge today set bail at $80,000 for a man facing four felonies after police said he shot and tied up the owner of a Goose Creek store during a robbery Monday.
Christopher Gordon Flowers, 31, of Sarah Drive in Goose Creek faces charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, attempted murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.
Goose Creek Municipal Court Judge Shirley Johnson set a $20,000 bail amount on each count during a hearing this afternoon.
Flowers’ alleged victim, a 51-year-old North Charleston man, suffered bullet wounds to his left pinky finger and the side of his neck. He was walking and talking after the ordeal ended early Monday night, and he was expected to recover.
Levolia Rhodes, a victim’s advocate for the Goose Creek Police Department, said today that Flowers had threatened to kill the store owner and his family during a hostage situation that lasted nearly an hour and a half. The owner has a wife and three young children, including a 4-day-old infant, she said.
But Flowers’ girlfriend, who identified herself only as Christina, disputed that account.
She and Flowers, with whom she has three children, had gotten behind on bills, she said. Their money woes “got to his head,” she said, and he made a “mistake” in robbing the store.
But she said her boyfriend did not mean to shoot the store owner. Instead, the gun went off during a struggle, and Flowers tied up the man to stop him from trying to attack, she said as she cried outside the courthouse.
The police were called to Beer and Tobacco Food Mart at 139 Red Bank Road about 6 p.m. when a would-be customer reported that the store’s doors were locked and a man was crawling on the floor.
Officers from the Police Department noticed further unsettling signs. They peered through a window and saw two open cash registers and broken glass.
The officers tried prying open the back door, but they managed to open it only slightly because it was reinforced with a metal bar, they said in an incident report.
Through the opening, they saw a man lying on the floor with his hands tied behind his back, their report stated. The man told the officers that a robber with a gun was inside.
The patrol officers backed off and trained their guns on the store. They summoned a SWAT team.
But as officers with rifles amassed outside, the police said Flowers called dispatchers and said he wanted to surrender.
About 7:20 p.m., according to the report, Flowers walked through the front door and was handcuffed.
The report stated that he had been armed with a handgun when he robbed the store owner. It also stated that Flowers is unemployed.
Goose Creek police officers were familiar with Flowers.
They sent him to jail on Valentine’s Day in 2010, his first arrest in South Carolina, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. The incident later resulted in misdemeanor convictions for unlawfully carrying a handgun and marijuana possession.
Deputies from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office also arrested Flowers in November 2011 for check fraud. He was later convicted of that misdemeanor count.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.