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Church’s Chicken robbed – Gun discharged as customer tussles with suspect

Atmore police are looking for an unidentified “person of interest” who is believed responsible for the Friday night, September 1, armed robbery of Church’s Chicken, as well as a second individual who is believed to have helped the gunman elude officers.

Police reports show that the stick-up occurred shortly after 9:30 p.m. when a man brandishing a weapon entered the restaurant and demanded money from the employees. Investigators are not certain whether or not the bandit got away with any cash.

Police Chief Chuck Brooks said reports indicate that a person inside the eatery tried to stop the robbery.

“Several witnesses told our officers that a customer started fighting or tussling with the robber,” Brooks said. “I was told that a round was discharged inside the restaurant, but nobody was injured.”

Reports show that dispatchers received a report of the robbery at 9:42 p.m. Officers were on the scene within two minutes of the call, Brooks said, but the suspect had already left and apparently was picked up by the driver of a nearby getaway vehicle.

“The suspect fled on foot and headed north on Trammell, then to Summers Drive,” the chief said. “We called in tracking dogs from the (Alabama Department of Corrections). They tracked him to Summers before they lost the scent, so we believe he must have gotten into a vehicle at that point.”

Brooks said Church’s employees were “very cooperative” and “willingly gave statements as to the events.”

He added that investigators have viewed surveillance video and have been able to learn the possible “street name” of a person who might have been involved in the robbery. “It’s still under investigation right now,” he said.