13-year-old accused of shooting store clerk - WSMV Channel 4

13-year-old accused of shooting store clerk

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A Woodbury shop owner got the scare of his life when a 13-year-old allegedly pulled a gun and tried to rob him Thursday evening.

The owner, Rick Smotherman, survived thanks to a split-second decision.

Smotherman opened a furniture and decor shop last year. It sits just a few doors away from a jewelry store and a gold-buying store, but for some reason when the teen wanted cash he turned his attention - and his gun - toward Leland's Furniture and Home Decor.

"This was the last thing I would have ever expected," Smotherman said. "Like I say, God was with me. He's not finished with me."

Investigators said as Smotherman closed up shop at Leland's around 5 p.m. the teen opened the door and let a pistol say everything.

"Didn't say a word. Young kid with a hood on. I looked at him - I said, 'Man, you've got to be kidding me.' I actually thought it was a prank. The gun didn't look real to me," Smotherman said. "So I walked around the counter and I grabbed him."

The two fought inside the front of the store for a few minutes. Then, somehow, Smotherman found a way to open the door.

The fight moved to the sidewalk along Main Street where next door, in front of a martial arts studio, things took a serious turn for the worst.

"That's when he broke loose from me, stood back and raised the gun up, pointed it at me and shot me," Smotherman said.

The teen ran off, leaving Smotherman bloody on the sidewalk before an ambulance rushed him to the hospital.

Fortunately, the bullet only grazed his side.

"About a half-inch gash in my side, 4 inches long," Smotherman said.

Smotherman returned to work Friday. After all, business can't wait. But it can change, given the run-in with a robber he would do anything to forget.

"How stupid. How stupid. Messed his life up. Anybody, but especially 13 years old. I'm like, where did a 13-year-old - this is an eighth grader - where did he get the idea to rob somebody?" Smotherman said.

The 13-year-old is now in custody facing a variety of charges, including attempted murder and aggravated robbery.

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