A 53-year-old man who was shot and killed by another man during what appeared to be a robbery at a gas station in East Ridge used a meat cleaver to force the store clerk to hand over cash, according to a report from East Ridge police.
Police have finished their investigation into the June 30 shooting and turned the results over to Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston, who will decide whether to press criminal charges against the man who shot Anthony Edmonds.
The store clerk told police that Edmonds came into the Marathon gas station at 4011 Ringgold Road just before 2 a.m. He pulled a mask over his face and chased the clerk around the store. The report says Edmonds "gained control" of the clerk and then pulled out a meat cleaver and demanded money from the cash register, which she gave him.
The report does not say how much money Edmonds took.
Then, the clerk said, Edmonds grabbed a rack of cigarettes and started to force her out of the store. At that point, Edmonds encountered the man who would kill him — Charles Russell, 33.
Russell said he saw Edmonds forcing the clerk out of the door as he stepped out of his vehicle, according to the police report. He said Edmonds shouted that he had a gun and would kill the clerk.
Russell then turned back to his vehicle and pulled out a .40-caliber handgun. As he turned to face Edmonds and the clerk, Edmonds struck him with the cigarette rack, he said.
Then, Edmonds stepped back and "began reaching for something," according to the report. Russell said he thought Edmonds was going to pull a gun, so he shot the man.
Edmonds took a few steps and then fell on his back. He did not survive.
It does not appear that Russell gave any sort of indication he was about to fire or offered any chance for Edmonds to surrender, according to the report.
East Ridge Police Capt. Tim Mullinax said Russell was licensed to carry a weapon. On his Facebook page, Russell poses in multiple photos wearing a uniform and badge that say "Fugitive Recovery Agent," a profession also known as a bounty hunter. In some photos, he wears what appears to be a bulletproof vest with a handgun strapped to his leg.
When reached by phone Monday, Russell declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation.
Edmonds had a lengthy criminal history in Hamilton County.
The shooting is the second time this year that a man has been killed during what the shooter described as an attempted robbery. In March, 19-year-old Steven Hurston was shot and killed by 30-year-old Joshua Smith. Smith said Hurston tried to rob him.
No charges have been filed against Smith, and police determined the shooting was justified.
A year before that incident, in March 2015, a similar situation ended in the death of 32-year-old Demetrius Birt. Birt attempted to rob a car dealership on Rossville Boulevard and was fatally shot by an employee.
Police also determined that shooting was self defense and the employee was not arrested.
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