Store clerk, customer shot during dispute in Florida City, police say

Clerk later decides not to press charges against suspect, owner says

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Andrew Perez - Reporter

FLORIDA CITY, Fla. - Local 10 News obtained surveillance video Friday of an altercation inside a Florida City store that resulted in a clerk and a suspect being shot.

The incident occurred July 7 at M&M Grocery at 513 W. Lucy St.

According to an arrest report, Jesus Rodriguez, 34, of Miami, went to the store to buy an alcoholic beverage.

Police said the clerk refused to sell Rodriguez any alcohol because he was already intoxicated and was causing a disturbance inside the business.

Authorities said Rodriguez repeatedly called the clerk a "n*****" and an argument ensued between the two men.

The clerk is heard in the surveillance footage telling Rodriguez to leave the store, but Rodriguez refuses, looking at his cellphone while speaking Spanish to the clerk.

***WARNING: Raw footage of the altercation inside a Florida City store contains graphic images that some may find disturbing. 

"Wanna talk that Spanish bulls***. Get the f*** out of here," the clerk is heard saying in the video as he goes back around the counter. 

The clerk is then heard in the video calling Rodriguez the same racial slur that police said was initially aimed at him.

"Yes, you are a f***ing n*****. N****** aren't just black," the clerk tells Rodriguez. 

A struggle then ensued after the clerk came from around the counter a second time to once again tell Rodriguez to leave, authorities said.

Police said Rodriguez pulled out a revolver from the right pocket of his pants and pointed the gun at the victim as they wrestled inside the business.

The report stated that the victim lowered his head and the gun discharged, nearly striking the victim.

Surveillance video shows the two men continuing to wrestle inside the business when they fall against the store racks.

Police said Rodriguez then pointed the gun at the victim and shot him in the head and back.

The victim wrestled the gun away from Rodriguez and the gun discharged, striking Rodriguez in his left forearm, authorities said.

Police said the clerk then secured the gun until authorities arrived.

Both men were taken to Jackson South Medical Center to be treated for their gunshot wounds.

Police said Rodriguez did not have a concealed weapons permit.

He was arrested on charges of attempted murder, trespassing, displaying a firearm while committing a felony and carrying a concealed firearm. 

The store owner told Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez that he isn't proud about what happened inside his business and the clerk has since "left" his job and decided not to press charges against Rodriguez. 

Local 10 News confirmed that Rodriguez appeared in court for an arraignment earlier this week but online records show that the case in now closed.

We have requested the close-out memo to confirm whether charges were in fact dropped against Rodriguez and for what reason. 

Another employee inside the store told Perez he thought the clerk was too agressive in the video and was wrong for putting his hands on Rodriguez first, although Rodriguez refused to leave. He said management also believed the incident unnecessarily escalated.

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