As a clerk reached for an alarm, one of the armed suspects robbing his store opened fire, leaving the clerk shot four times.
The three suspects stole money and cigarettes before leaving the bloodied clerk inside the 7-Eleven store along Westfield Avenue in Pennsauken, N.J.
According to Pennsauken Police, around 1 a.m. three men entered the store, came around the counter and demanded money. As the clerk tried to reach for an alarm one of the suspects opened fire, according to investigators.
After the shooting, the suspects fled.
"About a minute or two later a customer entered the store and found the clerk shot behind the counter," said Pennsauken Police Lt. Michael Probasco.
Probasco said that person called 911.
Medics rushed the clerk to Cooper University Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery while in critical condition.
The overnight clerk -- who wasn’t immediately identified -- was new to the job, according to police.
He started working at the convenience store after a former clerk quit following a robbery about two months ago, said investigators.
It took police about five hours to wrap up their investigation and the store reopened around 6 a.m.
Probasco said surveillance video captured the shooting and also the suspects. County prosecutors were pouring over that video for clues.