HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Three people are facing charges in connection to an armed robbery at a Dollar General store in Conway.
According to Horry County Police the robbery happened on November 26, at about 9:15 p.m. Officers responded to an armed robbery call at the store located at 2140 Hwy. 905, in the Conway area of Horry County.
The investigation discovered that three men approached a man sitting in a parked vehicle and forced the man to approach the locked store door, at gunpoint, and ask the employees inside to open it, according to the police report.
Ricky Lee, a victim of the armed robbery says he was in the store when it happened. He says he stopped to pick up some last-minute groceries before the store closed. Lee says he and two other customers were in the store at the time, along with two store employees.
"[I] looked over at the door, and I saw the employee holding the door, trying to hold the door closed, and three guys just yanked it as hard at they could at one time," explained Lee.
Lee says the suspects rushed the door, and ordered everyone inside to get down on the ground.
"They told us that this is a robbery," said Lee. However, he said it's what they didn't say to the victims that had Lee fearful his life was going to end.
Lee said, "They didn't tell us anything like, we're not going to hurt you, we're not going to kill you, nobody's going to get hurt if you do what we say, there was no reassurance whatsoever."
Lee says after the suspects ordered the cashier to open the safe, she told them it was a delay, and the robbers would have to wait. Lee says at that time, the suspects demanded all of them to hand over their phones.
"It left all of us in question like what was going to happen? Is this going to be the last time? Is there where I am going to end up dying, on a store floor?" explained Lee.
Lee says the suspects took his phone and $150 cash out of his pockets. They would later take money from the safe, and leave the scene. According to the police report, the men left the store and were spotted on Hwy 905 by an HCPD officer who initiated a traffic stop. Authorities said the suspects threw the money out of the car window before they were arrested, but it was recovered and returned.
Jarrell James, 21, of Conway, was charged with Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime. Carl T. Jordan, 21, of Conway, was charged with Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime. Malik N. Sherman, 21, of Conway was charged with Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime, and Possession of a Controlled Substance – Cocaine.
Meanwhile, Lee says days after it happened, he is still living in fear.
"He had the gun nine to ten inches away from my head, pointed at my head, while he was going thru my pockets, and that's something I ain't never going to forget," stated Lee.
Lee says he found out 24 hours later, a judge granted bond for one of the suspects, and he was released from jail. "I'm sorry if you are charged with armed robbery, you should not be released from jail. They need to sit in there until their trial," said Lee.
According to J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Sherman was released on bond on November 27, while the other suspects, Jordan and James, remain in in custody at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center. Lee says after he heard a judge released one of the suspects he posted a message on Facebook Live.
"If the laws are supporting things like this, then us the people, us as a community, us a country, need to take a stand, and we need to make sure our governors, our congressmen, our state senators, our state representatives, all know that we are not okay, with somebody coming to point a gun to your head, and taking everything that you had and making you feel helpless," Lee stated.
Lee says after the robbery, he plans to obtain a concealed weapons permit, but he says it shouldn't have to be that way.
Lee added, "Be careful when you go to a store when it's close to closing time, especially this time of year. Keep a look out, if you have your gun permit take your gun with you, because you never know when something like is going to happen, I never thought this was going to happen to me."
Lee says he and everyone else in the store, were lucky to be alive.
"I won the lottery that night, I got to walk out with my life, and nobody got hurt, we all won the lottery that night, as far as I am concerned," stated Lee.
According to Horry County Police, The Dollar General has been robbed three times in the past two years.