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Clerk recovering after store shooting

A store clerk is recovering at a Charlotte hospital after she was shot twice in a robbery at a downtown seafood market. Rock Hill Police still are looking for a suspect.

Ping Chen, 40, of Charlotte was shot in the shoulder and hand Monday night around 7 p.m. by a man who robbed the Saltwater Seafood Market on White Street, police said.

The man entered the downtown store and demanded money from a clerk who does not speak English. The clerk, a 47-year-old man, called for Chen, his sister, who was in the back room, police say.

She came to the front counter and handed over $300 in cash, according to police reports.

The suspect took several steps toward the door then turned around and shot Chen in the right shoulder with a pistol, knocking her to the ground, police said. The man then leaned over the counter and fired a second shot that hit her left hand as she tried to cover her face.

"All indications are that he was trying to kill her," Rock Hill Police Lt. Jerry Waldrop said. "The clerk was, in our opinion, cooperative. But for some reason, the suspect shot her."

Waldrop said Chen was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where she is recovering from injuries that aren't considered life-threatening.

In addition to the cash, Chen told police the man grabbed a money jar from the counter and ran from the store on foot. Police don't have any surveillance video.

Detectives are looking for a suspect that fits the following description: A man about 18 years old, wearing a blue bandanna over his face and a dark blue, hooded sweat shirt.

Police arrested five Chester men later Monday night in connection with a robbery near 2361 Eden Terrace, Waldrop said, where a pedestrian was held up and robbed of $50 and a debit card. However, detectives do not believe the two cases are related.

"We're looking at all the possibilities, but we don't have any reason to connect them," Waldrop said.

Anyone with information about the shooting at the seafood market is asked to call Crimestoppers or the Rock Hill Police at 329-7200.

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