Originally created 03/15/97

Police shoot man to save clerk



Tom Bussey survived a close call early Friday morning.

Mr. Bussey, a clerk at the Circle K convenience store in the 1700 block of Kissingbower Road, was held hostage during an armed robbery until Richmond County officers were able to shoot his kidnapper, a sheriff department official said.

The assailant, Lonnie Dozier Jr., 18, was in fair condition Friday night at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Mr. Dozier, of 127 E. Hall St., will be charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and aggravated assault against a police officer, Richmond County Chief Deputy Ronnie Strength said.

He has a prior record, including a bank robbery arrest in North Augusta, according to the North Augusta Public Safety Department. Richmond County authorities also believe he is responsible for at least two other stick-ups, they said.

Mr. Dozier confronted officers outside the store shortly after 1:00 a.m. Friday, toting money from the store's safe and holding Mr. Bussey at gunpoint, Chief Deputy Strength said.

He said Mr. Bussey was able to move a few feet away from Mr. Dozier, creating a window of opportunity for Deputy Ron Sylvester, Deputy Kareem Josephs and Investigator Kenny Lynch to fire. One bullet struck him in the abdomen and exited through his back, the chief deputy said.

All three officers are on administrative duty until the investigation is wrapped up, said Chief Deputy Strength. "We have not found an improper actions taken by the officers," he said.



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