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Clerk pistol-whipped during robbery

COVINGTON - A convenience store clerk was reportedly struck several times in the back with a handgun during an armed robbery at Ellington's Shell station on Salem Circle earlier this week.

Just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, authorities responded to the convenience store and spoke to the clerk, who said that he was in the process of opening up and making coffee that morning when he heard a voice say from behind him, "Hold up. Freeze," Newton County Sheriff's Office Deputy Byron Mobley said in an incident report.

The suspect, who was described as a man wearing all dark clothing and a mask, then forced the victim behind the counter where he struck him with a silver pistol.

After assaulting the clerk, the suspect proceeded to take the money from both cash registers and put it in a plastic bag. The victim estimated that the robber took between $500 and $1,000, Mobley said.

The perpetrator then fled the scene on foot heading north. One of the store's owners later summoned the deputy back to the store to show him the surveillance camera footage of the robbery.

According to the incident report, the video showed what appeared to be a black man, dressed in light to medium colored blue jeans, dark shoes, and a black coat with a hood that was covered with numerous white stars. The suspect can also be seen wearing light blue cloth gloves with either white circles or stars on the back of them.

Investigators ask that anyone with information about this case call the NCSO at 678-625-1403. Tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through their Web at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tip line." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.