A Little Rock store owner shot a robber Thursday night after the assailant opened fire during a holdup.
Authorities later arrested and charged the suspect, who is identified in a police report as 21-year-old Alvin Aikens.
Aikens, who was shot in the left foot, was booked into the Pulaski County jail early Friday morning after being treated and released from UAMS Medical Center. He faces charges of aggravated robbery, theft of property and fleeing.
According to the report, the robber entered the Santa Maria Mexican grocery store at 4731 W. Base Line Road shortly before 8:30 p.m. and pressed a handgun to the back of owner Miguel Martinez.
The robber grabbed cash from the register and started to leave, but he turned back and fired shots toward Martinez when he saw the owner reaching for something, the report said.
Martinez, who was back in the store Friday morning, said he was reaching for a gun which he then used to shoot at the robber as the man fled the business. Martinez wasn't hurt and neither were his 20-year-old son and his 17-year-old daughter, who were both working in the business when the robbery and shootout happened.
Martinez said his daughter in particular was left shaken by the robbery. Speaking on the floor of the small store beside a cooler with a bullet hole in it, he said all he cared about was protecting his loved ones.
"You think of your family only," Martinez said. "You don't think about nothing [else] ... You don't care about money."
Aikens was gone when police arrived, but he was later taken into custody at Auxora Arms Apartments after a chase, the report said. He is being held without bail pending an initial court appearance.
AIkens was previously arrested in late 2011 on multiple aggravated robbery warrants. Police said then they suspected he was involved in a string of robberies including two at Cupid’s, a lingerie store at 3920 W. 65th St., and one at Neighborhood Grocery at 4423 W. 12th St.
Martinez said his store has been robbed "three or four" times since he opened it in a shopping center on Base Line about nine years ago.
"Maybe they will come in again. I don't know," he said. "I don't want to stay home. I have to work. I have kids and I have to work for my family."