BLYTHEVILLE — Authorities have identified the would-be robber fatally shot by a clerk at a pizza restaurant as a Little Rock man.
The Blytheville Police Department said in a statement that 53-year-old Thomas “Tony” Price died after being shot by a worker Sunday night at the location at 400 N. 6th St.
"An employee of the restaurant reported that Price entered the store," police wrote. "Price asked to see the manager, then brandished and cycled a handgun. At this point the employee, who was armed with a handgun, shot and killed Price."
The statement said "indisputable evidence" shows Price enter the store armed with a handgun and later brandishing it. It did not specify whether that evidence was surveillance footage.
The weapon Price held was later determined to be a BB gun "that functioned like a semi-automatic handgun," police wrote.
A Domino's spokesman said the chain is “horrified” and offering services to the worker.
“We are grateful that the employee in the store was not hurt,” spokesman Tim McIntyre said in an email Monday afternoon. “It was an extremely traumatic event.”
McIntyre said both Domino’s and the franchise owner have no-weapon policies.
“The primary concern at this point, however, is the well-being of the employee, who was faced with a life-threatening situation when all he was doing was trying to earn a living making pizza,” he said.
McIntyre added that the employee has been offered paid time-off and access to a councilor.
The employee who opened fire has not been identified at this time.
Police said Price formerly lived in Blytheville and has "an extensive criminal history" there. His body was sent to the state Crime Laboratory for an autopsy.
First, we must say that we're horrified by the chain of the events last night, and we are grateful that the employee in the store was not hurt. It was an extremely traumatic event.
The company, and the independent franchise owner of the store, do each have a no-weapons policy. The primary concern at this point, however, is the well-being of the employee, who was faced with a life-threatening situation when all he was doing was trying to earn a living making pizza.
The franchise owner has reached out to his employee, and has offered him paid time-off and access to a counselor so that he can deal with the aftermath of this tragic and unnecessary circumstance. That is the franchise owner's top priority at this point, as well as providing counseling services to any other of his employee who may request it.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.