‘Are you serious?’ Clerk shocked when 12-yr-old boy robs MI gas station, fires warning shot

A pre-teen allegedly walked into a Michigan convenience store/gas station on Wednesday afternoon, pulled a gun from his backpack, and pointed it at the clerk in an incident captured on dramatic surveillance video.

“Put the money in the bag,” the boy apparently ordered the clerk in the Hartford, Mich., shop, as he placed the backpack adjacent to the cash register.

When the clerk asked the 12-year-old if he was serious, the latter demonstrated that he apparently meant business by allegedly firing a shot into the ceiling from what is reportedly a 9 mm handgun.

The youngster is now in custody at the nearby Allegan County Juvenile Center, and he is due back in court on Thursday.

The minor reportedly faces charges in Van Buren County Family Court including armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and discharge of a firearm. Van Buren County, where Hartford is located in the southwestern part of the state, does not have a juvenile lockup.

Jessica, the store clerk, initially thought the whole thing was a practical joke by the kid who had quietly waited his turn in front of the checkout counter.

“He sounded way too calm,” Jessica told CBS Kalamazoo, Mich., affiliate WWMT, News Channel 3. “I seriously thought it was a prank until I heard the gun go off.”


“I always thought if I were robbed I’m giving them the money; no amount of money is worth my life,” she explained.

Video seems to show Jessica understandably retrieving a blue bank-deposit bag from a safe, stuffing it into the backpack, and telling the middle schooler to get out.

Cops, including Hartford police chief Tressa Beltran, arrested the boy shortly thereafter without any issues about a block away from the fuel stop.

“According to Hartford Police, the pre-teen got the gun used in the gas station incident from his grandfather’s locked safe. The grandfather, who told police he didn’t know his grandson could access the safe, is the child’s legal guardian,” WWMT added.

In the video, the firearm seems to jam as he is about to leave the store; a shell casing appears to fall to the floor.

Cops have so far been unable to determine a specific motive. “He told us he didn’t do it for the money. He said he would’ve thrown the money into the sewer. He wouldn’t give us an explanation why he did it,” Lt. Mike Prince told ABC Grand Rapids affiliate WZZM. “Every day I’m seeing something new at this job. I’ve been a full-time police officer for 38 years. What really flabbergasted me is that he showed no emotion.”

“Hartford Police previously told News Channel 3 that the 12-year-old talked about committing an armed robbery at school hours before he was taken into custody,” WWMT recalled.

All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.

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