Pawn shop employee survives shootout with robber

Pawn shop employee survives shootout with robber (WKRC)

NEWPORT, Ky. (WKRC) - A pawn shop employee shot at a man who was trying to rob his store Wednesday followed by a brief chase that led to the arrest of two suspects.

Only Local 12 News was there as Newport police found Sahdi Cunningham hiding in a garbage can in a backyard off of East Eighth St. Police said Cunningham held up the EZ Cash Pawn on Monmouth St. at about noon.

He was focused on me," said the store employee who fired at Cunningham.

The employee asked not to be identified as he spoke about the shooting. He discussed why he fired.

"I was talking to my boss and next thing I know there was someone there with a black mask on with a bag and I saw a firearm," the employee said. "He said everything in the bag as soon as I saw the firearm I feared for my life."

The employee said he had firearms training and felt he needed to protect himself and his boss. More than a dozen shots were fired between the two men. He said the man he fired at was wearing a mask that looked like a black sock. He said the robber was covered up so much that he couldn't see his skin.

Police said Cunningham left the store and got into an SUV with Roger Eugene Williams. A school resource officer recognized the SUV and started to follow it. The SUV turned into an alley off of East Eighth St. and crashed. A neighbor heard the commotion and went to investigate.

"I looked down the alley and saw a female get out of the vehicle," said Eric Baker. "The cop had his gun drawn and asked her to get down multiple times and then he ended up tackling her and I'm at the same time trying to yell at my wife and daughter 'stay in the car, stay in the car.'"

Police said the female was actually Williams who was disguised by wearing a wig. Cunningham had run away and a K-9 found him hiding in a garbage can nearby.

"We have the stuff that was taken from the store. At this time we have two in custody. This guy got shot in the arm that we're picking up right now," said Newport Police Chief Tom Collins as he walked toward the scene.

Chief Collins said a police officer spotted the bag of stolen items on a roof. No neighbors were hurt. Meanwhile, the store employee said he was trying to come to terms with what had happened.

"I'm a little shaken up trying to go through the events in my head," he said.

According to court documents, Cunninghman pawned his cousin's play station and other items at EZ Pawn Cash in July so he was likely familiar with the store.

Cunningham and Williams will be housed in the Campbell County Jail.

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