Michigan community supports Indian store clerk who was shot in face, called a terrorist

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – There has been an outpouring of support for the clerk at a Michigan party store who was robbed and then shot in the face.

The shooting happened just before midnight Dec. 12 at Bottlenecks in Grand Rapids. The victim told his manager that a masked man carrying along gun robbed the store, then led the clerk to a back room and put the gun in his mouth.

The masked man then apparently said something to the effect of, “I shot people like you overseas in the Middle East,” and also called the clerk a terrorist and a member of ISIS. The clerk struggled and when the gun was fired, the bullet went through his cheek.

The 34-year-old clerk is from India, not the Middle East, and he is not Muslim. He was released from the hospital within a few days and is recovering.

Since the incident, people have been stopping in to the store to drop off gifts including cards, flowers and even money in support. They wanted to let the store know they stand against the hateful acts that happened that night.

Some who left gifts are strangers, while others are neighbors who visit the store regularly.

“I even went in there and told them I was sorry that this happened to one of the clerks,” neighbor Claudia Farrell said. “Harry is one of the clerks and he thanked me. And I’m not surprised. People in this neighborhood, they’re just giving people. They’re good people.”

Police are still looking for the shooter. They released a surveillance photo of the suspect in hopes of identifying him. Anyone with information is asked to call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 6116.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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