Police: Gunman threatens to shoot child at North Augusta Kroger

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Jennifer Howard is still overcome with emotion.

"We didn't sleep all last night. I'm tired from crying. We were very upset,” she said.

A few minutes before 9 o'clock Wednesday night, she went to the Kroger here on Knox Avenue in North Augusta to pick up a few things.

It was an ordinary trip to the grocery store that ended up being anything but ordinary.

"We came back out, I got him in the car, I put the things in the car, I walked around, I got in the vehicle, I went to close the door, and then there he was,” Howard said.

She was face to face with an armed robber. Her young son was beside her in the passenger's seat. She says the 6-year-old quickly became the target.

"He had a gun at my face, and he said to give me my bag or he was going to shoot my son,” she said.

Without hesitation, she gave up her purse. An incident report filed by the North Augusta Department of Public Safety values what was stolen at $100, including cash, ATM and Social Security cards and prescription drugs, too.

"We've been gone all morning. We started at the DMV, we went to the bank, the Social Security office, and we've had to go to the doctor's to get medicines refilled,” Howard said.

Howard says the suspect ran toward nearby Arby's and escaped in a dark-colored minivan. Officers pulled prints from Howard's car and are hoping to enhance surveillance footage from the Kroger parking lot, too.

Meanwhile, Howard is still struggling to comprehend why this happened.

There was also some discussion by police that this armed robbery could be tied to some in Richmond County. They're looking for a heavyset black male with a goatee around 35 to 40 years old, possibly driving a dark-colored minivan.

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