Robbery stapler

North Charleston police said a robber shot a gas station clerk in the arm Sunday before the clerk fought back with a stapler. Provided

When she was shot by a robber at a North Charleston gas station, a store clerk fought back with a stapler.

The 55-year-old woman survived the ordeal Sunday at the Citgo at 4635 Rivers Ave. She and a witness told the North Charleston Police Department how the thwarted heist unfolded. An incident report released Tuesday gave their stories.

About 7 p.m. Sunday, the robber came in wearing black clothes and a white T-shirt over his face.

“Give me all your money!” he said.

The clerk questioned him.

“Why?” she said.

The robber reached for a drawer from the cash register. But it wouldn’t budge. He demanded the money again.

But she didn’t fork over any cash.

He fired, hitting the clerk in the right arm.

“You think I’m playing,” he shouted. “I’ll shoot you in your head!”

He pulled the trigger again but the gun jammed. He tried to grab another cash drawer but a customer walked in.

As the robber ran, the customer said, the clerk grabbed the stapler, chased him and hit him. Responding police officers found a toppled rack of potato chips and the stapler lying on the ground.

The bleeding clerk was taken to Medical University Hospital.

Her assailant's identity, meanwhile, remains a mystery.

Surveillance images from the store show the man wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat and pointing a small silver handgun.

Sitting on the edge of the cashier counter is a black office stapler.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414. Follow him on Twitter @offlede.

Andrew Knapp is editor of the Quick Response Team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.