Clerk shot in chest; 2 suspects elude police

North Charleston police say they found a store employee shot in the chest while responding to an alarm this morning at Knight's Food Store. By Christina Elmore

North Charleston police are searching for two suspects accused of shooting a convenience store clerk in the chest Tuesday in an attempted robbery.

An alarm sent officers to Knight’s Food Store about 8:15 a.m., Deputy Chief Scott Deckard said. The store is in a plaza at 4226 Rivers Ave., about a mile southwest of East Montague Avenue. Officers found a man inside the store with a gunshot wound to the chest, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies and a helicopter assisted in the search for two suspects described as black men wearing dark clothing. The men had their faces covered throughout the incident, Deckard said.

Nearby Chicora Elementary, Malcolm C. Hursey Elementary and Morningside Middle schools were placed on lockdown while officers cleared the scene.

The wounded man, whom officers have not identified, was taken to Medical University Hospital for treatment, Deckard said. His condition was not known Tuesday.

A narrow path sprinkled with broken glass and cigarette butts flanked the store. The walkway, bordered by the building’s edge and a chain-link fence, leads to a row of residential properties on Grimke Street.

Hank Williams’ single-family home overlooks the store’s rear.

He said he’s often seen people loitering in the area, but police intervention has helped to clean up things in recent months, Williams said.

A large red-and-white sign that says “no loitering or hanging around” is posted on the store’s front.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at