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story.lead_photo.caption Boards cover windows shattered by gunfire at the Santa Maria Mexican Store on Base Line Road Friday. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

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."

Store owner describes shootout with robber

A Little Rock store owner describes shooting a robber after the man opened fire during a holdup Thursday night. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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Alvin Aikens booking photo provided by the Pulaski County jail

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  • gjo1957
    March 15, 2013 at 9:29 a.m.

    Good for the store owner. However, he needs a little more time at the shooting range so that next time he can find the "ten ring".

  • LRfriend
    March 15, 2013 at 9:32 a.m.

    good for him....if the store owners keep taking charge, maybe these thugs will think twice about armed robbery--Especially if the aim is improved and we start canceling robbers one by one.

    March 15, 2013 at 10:02 a.m.

    Time to hit the range OR as this sounds like an owner operater, just hang a dbl barrel shotgun under the counter and shoot thru the counter. No need to draw and aim.

  • Packman
    March 15, 2013 at 11:38 a.m.

    Gotta always go two to the chest one to the head. That's the only way to fight this particluar manifestation of an entitlement addiction. Hoorah for the store owner and thank God for the 2nd Amendment.

  • TheBatt
    March 15, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.

    gjo1957 - or at least "Center mass"....

  • AmericasDoomed
    March 15, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.

    Too bad it didn't end with the coroner being called. Now the scumbag will just file for disability. Hurray for the business owner, glad you all weren't hurt.

  • WTR44
    March 15, 2013 at 11:59 a.m.

    Only problem with this story.....the store owner should have killed that thug graveyard dead!!

  • TDA
    March 15, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.

    Hooray for Mr. Martinez!!!

  • Firefighter
    March 15, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

    Sen Pryor is going to vote Democratic on the gun bill which will limit your rights and lead to government control and possible confiscation of your guns. Then people won't be able to defend themselves. Vote Pryor out.

  • Felina
    March 15, 2013 at 1:41 p.m.

    It makes me sick how these thugs target Hispanics, thinking that they won't make a fuss for fear of deportation! Well guess what? Not all Hispanics fear deportation, because they are here legally! Regarding those who are undocumented, I think we should offer immediate citizenship for any illegal immigrant who shoots a thug in self defense!