Securing Gas Stations in Violent, High-Crime Areas

Steady increase in sales for bulletproof glasses, owners studying CCTV too

He ran back into the station, asked for the phone and was talking with police dispatchers when one of the robbers came in and began shooting.

The station's security camera captured video of bullets striking Bingham, who fell to the floor. Alhussainy, behind the protective glass, ran into an adjacent room.

"After he was shot, I heard him struggling to breathe. I could not stand that sound. Maybe the other man was coming to kill me," Alhussainy said.

After the shooter left, Alhussainy ran out from behind the glass, called 911 and started yelling: "Send an ambulance!" Bingham, a divorced father of two, was pronounced dead at the hospital within an hour.

Impersonal, but necessary
Despite the safety concern, some business owners don't want to put a barrier between them and their customers. Despite the robbery at his store, Mug and Jug owner Nathan Jamil is one of them.

"We never thought this would happen here," Jamil said last week. He has added surveillance cameras since the robbery. But he said he won't install protective glass. That would send a signal to would-be robbers that he could be bullied, he said.

"We're not going to be afraid," he said.

"It's a negative, negative way of operating a business," said Jamil, who has operated the Mug and Jug in Farmington Hills for eight years. "You cannot communicate with your customers. You cannot touch them. You cannot shake hands. I have worked behind glass in Detroit. I would close down the store before I do that again."

Farmington Hills Police Chief William Dwyer said that the stickup -- and shooting -- is unusual in the suburb.

"Bulletproof glass is probably used more in places like Detroit," he said. Even though bullet-resistant glass provides some protection, it separates clerks from their customers and leaves other customers vulnerable. He added: "It doesn't guarantee no one is going to be hurt."

Police have arrested three men suspected of robbing the liquor store.

Roummel Ingram, 21, of Oak Park was charged with six felonies, including assault with intent to commit murder and armed robbery. Shannon McGriff, 21, of Oak Park and Kim Thomas, 20, of Detroit were charged with armed robbery. All three are being held in the Oakland County Jail.

The two men who police said killed Bingham -- Christopher Jackson, 17, and Cordero Landrum, 18, both of Pontiac -- were arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Landrum has a preliminary exam on Wednesday. Jackson is to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and return to court Aug. 25. Both are being held in the Oakland County Jail without bond. Police said they killed Bingham to silence him as a witness.

"I wish," Alhussainy said, "I could have done something to save his life."

Even though Alhussainy is protected at the gas station, he is no longer willing to work the night shift.