Store owner shot 4 times


First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON - The owner of a convenience store who was murdered Saturday was shot four times although a videotape does not show him resisting two men who were robbing his business, according to police.
Police say they expect to release still photographs of the two men soon. A security camera recorded the murder of Robert Woodell, 27, who owned Ali's Discount Cigarette Store at 2011 Carthage Road.
Police have not been able to identify the men, but Lt. Mickey Biggs said, “We're looking into some information we received,” Biggs said.
The videotape shows two men entering the store shortly after 1 a.m. One of the men shoots Woodell four times, three times in the torso and once in the head. The men then stole money from the cash register and ran from the store.
“He didn't appear to be resisting,” Biggs said of Woodell.
Lumberton police Officer Jerry Kinlaw, who was patrolling the area and heard the store's alarm sounded, found Woodell.
Biggs wouldn't say how much money was taken, but did say no one else was in the store at the time of the robbery. The tape has been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation.
“We are trying to enhance the video and get some prints. The reason why it is taking so long is there aren't too many places around that make copies from video,” Biggs said.
According to Biggs, both men were black. One of the men was dressed in a white cap, long white shirt, dark pants and white sneakers. The other man was dressed in a dark baseball cap, a light shirt, dark pants and dark shoes.
Biggs said he couldn't comment on the ages of the robbers.
Woodell and his wife recently took over management of the store, also known as the Texaco Food Mart. It remained closed this morning with yellow crime scene tape encircling the parking lot.
Woodell lived at 411 Old Whiteville Road.

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