SPANAWAY, Wash. – A convenience store clerk traded bullets during an attempted robbery that ended up sending her to the hospital.
Suel Lim, 30, was shot once in the abdomen while she worked alone at the Pacific Quickmart in Spanaway.
Cameras caught the terrifying moments when prosecutors said Tyrone Prophet Jr. barged into the convenience store with his gun already drawn on Lim.
“I still can’t get over that,” said Lim’s husband, Ben Kim. “I should have been here, you know? So she could have not got shot.”
Video shows the suspect handing over a bag for Lim to fill with money. But while she pulls money out of the till, she waits and then pulls out her own handgun.
A flash of gunpowder can be seen on the video as Lim fired at the robber but missed; the bullet flew past his head and into the ceiling.
Cops said Prophet fired his gun, too, as he was fleeing, but his bullet struck and went through Lim’s side.
The suspect took off, leaving behind the money and his mask. Pierce County sheriff’s deputies later pulled Prophet and his girlfriend over at a gas station in Tacoma.
Prophet pleaded not guilty to assault and attempted robbery charges on Friday; he’s being held on $1 million bail.
Police believe Prophet could be connected to a series of violent armed robberies across Spanaway.
Neighbor Jodie Yost thinks her daughter could be one of his victims.
“My daughter was actually robbed twice at gunpoint at a local coffee shop in the area,” she said. “She had since quit her job because she was fearful to go to work everyday because she was afraid she was going to die.”
Strangers left flowers and gifts at Lim’s convenience store on Friday.
Lim's husband was thankful police nabbed their man.
“I’m glad she’s fine and I’m glad they caught the guy who shot her,” he said. “I hope the law is going to do their job.”
Police said Prophet’s girlfriend drove the getaway car but she hasn't been charged with a crime and could be released from jail Friday night.
Child Protective Services also took custody of a young child police found inside the alleged getaway car during the arrest, but investigators don’t believe she was in the car during the robbery.