Store customer shot after fight with clerk

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Vicksburg man was shot Monday night after an argument with a convenience store clerk turned violent and involved racial insults, police said.

Thomas Flaggs, 34, 3014 Green St., was shot in the thigh while running from the clerk at the Five-Star Food Mart, 1108 Bowmar Ave., said Lt. Sandra Williams of the Vicksburg Police Department.

Jalal Hizam, 21, 201 Berryman Road, Apt. 33., was charged with aggravated assault after shooting “numerous times” at Flaggs as he ran down the street around 6:50 p.m. The location of the shooting was not included in the initial report, Williams said, though it was between the store — at the intersection with Drummond Street — and Flaggs’ home, about four blocks away.

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“Hizam reportedly was screaming racial slurs at him as he was chasing him and trying to shoot him,” Williams said.

Williams said Flaggs went to the store to make a purchase but did not have enough money. He left and returned later with the correct amount, she said.

“The shooter started making derogatory statements to him and asked him to leave the store,” she said. “Somehow an argument ensued, and the clerk started pushing him out of the store.”

As the argument became physical, the clerk reportedly pulled a weapon and began to chase and fire at Flaggs.

Flaggs was taken by ambulance to River Region Medical Center, where he was in fair condition this morning, said spokesman Allen Karel.

Hizam was being held without bond pending an initial hearing, said Williams.