MARION, SC (WMBF) - Marion Police Chief Dewayne Tennie confirmed a business owner was shot in the chest after an armed robbery Saturday night at the Ming Wu Restaurant off S.C. 76.
Tennie said the suspect stole a tip jar from the business and went outside. The owner and suspect were then involved in a confrontation and the owner was reportedly shot one time in the chest.
Tennie said the victim was transported to Marion Hospital then transferred to McLeod Regional Medical Center. The business owner is expected to survive, according to Tennie.
Marion police are still searching for the suspect, who is described as a black male in his early 20s who was wearing a surgical mask at the time.
The family of four who own Ming Wu Japanese restaurant were inside at the time of the shooting.
They were closing down around 10 p.m., on Saturday when the suspect allegedly entered through an unlocked back door and approached the waitress first, demanding her to hand over money.
When she said no, he reportedly took the tip jar off the counter and left.
"As the suspect was running outside, he ran into the owner of the business, an altercation occurred and that's when the gun went off," said Tennie.
Tony Hayes, general manager of Advance Auto Parts right next door to Ming Wu, said nearby business owners should keep their back door locked, their eyes open always be aware of their surroundings.
"People running around, people outside, you never know when you're going to need the video surveillance," Hayes said. "You can always go back and have it right there and it's good to have it inside and out."
Hayes said good surveillance is what every business needs to help with this sort of thing.
"They are a big asset to the community because everybody loves their restaurant and food. I'm hoping they will get well soon and get back to cooking," he said.
Tennie said they have some good leads they are following up on, but need the public's help in catching the suspect.
"They can be a great help to this case," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police.