By ZACH HARMUTH
A lone man with a gun walked into the Independence Square Dollar General in Franklin, pulled out a pistol and held up the cashier Thursday night, according to Franklin Police. A second robbery happened moments later at the Goodwill next door.
Franklin Police are investigating the two back-to-back robberies committed by a single gunman. Officers were dispatched to the first robbery at the Dollar General at 6:25 p.m., located in the Independence Square Shopping Plaza on Hillsboro Road. While en route to that scene, the call of a second armed robbery came in from the Goodwill store, located next door in the same plaza, a police report stated.
Police said in both cases “a black male suspect entered the business, displayed a handgun, and demanded money from the clerks.”
The suspect fled on foot following the second robbery, and remains at large, according to police. Detectives do not believe that he is still in the immediate area. No one was hurt during either robbery.
Witnesses describe the suspect as a light-skinned black male with a beard, wearing a grey and white striped hoodie, the report said. The Franklin Police Department is offering a $5,000 cash reward for information in these robberies.
Home Page interviewed witnesses on the scene but those who spoke did not want to give their names as they stood in the police-filled parking lot. Witnesses said the gunman asked the cashier for the money in the register at the Dollar General. He then went next door to Goodwill to attempt a second robbery.
It was not clear if the man got any money in Goodwill or held any employees at gunpoint as he did in Dollar General.
“He was a skinny, black male with a pistol, and after he came out it looked like he got into a car someone was waiting for him in,” said one man who was in the parking lot between Kroger and Dollar General at the time of the crime.
Franklin police cars swarmed to the scene, and both stores were taped off, while police detained in both stores anyone who had been inside and was a potential witness.
At about 7 p.m., police took the tape off the Dollar General store, as detectives arrived to begin questioning store employees and other witnesses.
The Dollar General cashier could be seen being hugged by another employee.
“She did not panic, or act scared or anything,” the parking-lot witness said. “It really took guts to stay cool with a gun pointed at you.”
Call Franklin Police: (615) 794-2513 or Crime Stoppers: (615) 794-4000 with any information about these robberies.