CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A store clerk in north Charlotte is alive after the store owner says the employee pulled a gun on an alleged robber and defended himself. The 21-year-old suspect died on the scene.
"He was just defending himself. He has a family too. It's him or us," said Charlotte Fast Mart owner, Lamia Hannah.
Hannah says her clerk did what he had to do when he shot and killed Javon Booker Thursday night. Hannah says Booker demanded money and hit the clerk in the head with a gun.
"He could have been shot. He could have been laying dead on the floor and in a morgue," said Hannah.
Instead, it's Booker’s family who is now planning a funeral. Mother Roberta says whatever her son may have done, she's still mourning the loss of her child.
"I miss my son and I love him, and it hurts me. I wasn't there. I don't know what happened," said Roberta Booker.
Hannah says they never want to have to use it like this, but the store must have a gun for protection. This isn't the first time this happened here at Charlotte Fast Mart. In 2007, the owner says a suspect came in, pulled a gun on her, and she also shot and killed the assailant in self defense.
All day, neighbors of the Hidden Valley community came by to show their support for the store.
"It's a neighborhood. I been around here 13 years. This is only store I come to. It’s the only store I come to and for that to happen--," said a neighbor.
While in mourning, Booker's family says they don't condone his actions, but it doesn't take away from their loss.
"It is what it is. An investigation is going to be done. All we ask is that you pray for the family, that all we can ask for right now," said Booker’s cousin.
Hannah says she hopes no one else has to be hurt.
"I hope they don't come and do it again, and I hope we don't have to do it again, because it's not easy," said Hannah.