UPDATE: Roanoke shooting suspect sentenced to prison

Local News

UPDATE (08/10/18) – Dawn Whitlock was sentenced to 43 years Friday, her sentence is suspended after she serves 15 years. 

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UPDATE (3/20/18) – According to online court documents, Dawn Whitlock has pled guilty to all six charges. 

She is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13.  

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UPDATE: A shooting suspect is now facing more charges after an attempted robbery led to a shooting in Roanoke last month.

Court records show that Dawn Whitlock has been indicted on attempted murder and attempted robbery charges, after shooting a clerk insie Z-Mart last month.

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Some local store owners say they’re concerned about safety after a clerk was shot inside a convenience store.

According to police, the shooting happened just after noon Thursday inside the Z-Mart on Melrose Avenue NW.

Witnesses gave police a description of the suspect and the license plate number of the truck she was driving, and just five minutes later, officers pulled the woman over on Cove Road, according to authorities.

Dawn Whitlock is now behind bars, charged with malicious wounding, according to officials.

“I shouldn’t have to feel like I got to watch my back when I come into the convenience store to get something to drink,” said Devin Johnson, a regular customer who lives in the neighborhood. “It’s sad.”

Thursday’s shooting comes 11 years after the previous owner was shot and killed inside the store.

“When I heard about my friend today, I felt upset – I really did,” said Moe Ababseh, a manager at another local store. “I felt unsafe.”

Ababseh said he and his staff are now taking extra precautions to stay safe.

“I just told my employees, ‘Anybody comes in you don’t know, or you think there’s going to be trouble, call me,'” he explained. 

Ababseh said he never allows employees to work alone out of fear for their safety. He also sees police patrolling the area regularly, he added, sometimes stopping by to warn employees about recent crime.

“I know the police around here – they respond, very fast, too, because they’re all over the communities,” Ababseh said. “And I see a lot of police – they’re helping the communities around here.”

Ababseh said he enjoys working in the area and hopes this recent violence doesn’t continue to hit other stores.

“We’re just going to be really extra careful, especially [with] people from out of town…we don’t know,” he said. 

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