ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg police have apprehended a suspect they say robbed and shot a Family Dollar store employee Tuesday night. 

  • Terrian Javon Knight, 29, charged with armed robbery and attempted homicide 
  • Family Dollar robbery/shooting happened at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday
  • Employee who was shot taken to hospital, released

Terrian Javon Knight, 29, was taken into custody just before 7 a.m. Wednesday near the robbery location. The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. Tuesday at the store at 1701 4th Street South. 

St. Petersburg neighbors described the chaotic scene as police told everyone to stay indoors.

“They said, ‘Ma’am, please go inside, there’s a shooter in the area.’ So I immediately went inside,” said Laurie Hicks, who lives in the area.

The injured employee is expected to recover and police are not releasing his name at the moment. He was taken to an area hospital and was released overnight.

Hicks says she goes to that Family Dollar nearly every day, and knows the victim.

“I think to myself, he didn’t deserve to be shot, just because a person is trying to rob the store. And being that he’s an employee there, he’s trying to protect where he works,” said Hicks.

Police had set up a perimeter from 15th Ave S to 18th Ave S and 3rd St to 7th St. Officers said after more than eight hours, Knight finally surrendered to police. He spent most of that time hiding in a retention pond within a fenced-in lot.

Officers used dogs, drones and a helicopter during the search. Police said Knight never left the area and two loud flash bangs were heard a short time before the suspect was taken into custody.

Family dollar said in a statement to Spectrum Bay News 9, “We are shaken by the incident yesterday evening, and are appreciative of local law enforcement’s prompt response and apprehension of the suspect.”

The statement continues, saying safety is their No. 1 priority, and that there are policies and trainings in place to best respond to security incidents.

Knight has been charged with armed robbery and attempted homicide.

Terrian Knight has been charged with armed robbery and attempted homicide. (Pinellas County Jail)