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» » » Woman who had just finished Black Friday shopping for Christmas presents with her sister and son at Wal-Mart in Myrtle Beach, was shot in the foot

Victim’s husband: Shooting in Myrtle Beach could have been much worse

A 55-year-old Marston, N.C., woman who had just finished Black Friday shopping for Christmas presents with her sister and son at Wal-Mart in Myrtle Beach, was shot in the foot during a robbery in a nearby parking lot.

The shooting was one of several Black Friday-related criminal investigations across the country overnight. No other incidents were reported in Horry and Georgetown counties.

Police are still searching for two suspects in the Myrtle Beach shooting that happened at 1:13 a.m. Friday in front of the Osaka Japanese Steakhouse on 794 Oak Forest Lane, according to an incident report from the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

The victim, Tonia Robbins, is scheduled to have surgery on her foot on Friday afternoon at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, according to her husband, Jerry.

Jeremy Robbins, the victim’s son, was struck in the head by a handgun during the incident and received five staples in his head, Jerry Robbins said. One of the suspects shot at Jeremy Robbins during the robbery but missed, his father said.

The victim’s sister, Ann Robbins, 55, of Rockingham, N.C., was not injured and is being credited for possibly saving the lives of her sister and son when she pulled a gun out of her vehicle and shot over the head of each suspect two times, Jerry Robbins said.

“We’re very thankful she was there,” Jerry Robbins said. “Because Ann had her pistol with her is what probably saved their lives.”

According to a police report, Ann Robbins told police that she, her sister and son-in-law had just returned to their vehicle after shopping at the nearby Wal-Mart on Seaboard Street. Jerry Robbins said they parked near Osaka because it was “a well-lit area” and the Wal-Mart parking lot was full.

Ann Robbins told officers that she was entering the truck at the driver’s side door when she heard her sister scream while she and Jeremy Robbins were standing near the trunk of the vehicle. Ann Robbins told police that she heard a male suspect demand her sister’s purse and then heard a gunshot.

“He asked my wife to give up the pocketbook and she did, but he shot her anyway,” Jerry Robbins said. “My son jumped on [the suspect] and knocked him down. But then he hit my son in the head with the gun. Then he tried to shoot my son, but missed.”

Ann Robbins told police that she got into the vehicle and grabbed a gun out of the center console and pointed it toward a second suspect, the report shows.

“He intended to rob her, too,” Jerry Robbins said.

Jerry Robbins said his sister-in-law, who he said has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, didn’t shoot at the suspects because there were other people near the scene.

“She didn’t want to hurt anyone else,” he said.

The suspects ran away from the scene after Ann Robbins fired the shots, the report shows. One suspect ran toward the Wal-Mart parking lot and the other toward a wooded area on Robert Grissom Parkway. One of the suspects got away with the victim’s purse.

Tonia and Jeremy Robbins were taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. The bullet that struck Tonia Robbins went through her foot, her husband said.

Jerry Robbins said his family owns a home in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., and has been coming to Myrtle Beach to shop on Black Friday for about the last five years.

“They enjoy coming down here,” Jerry Robbins said.

Police are searching for the two suspects.

“The Myrtle Beach Police Department was very professional and very helpful through this,” Jerry Robbins said.

A shooting also was reported early Friday morning in San Leandro, Calif., after a Wal-Mart shopper was shot and critically injured in an apparent robbery, according to The Associated Press. Also in California, a woman pepper sprayed customers at the Wal-Mart there in order to get closer to the front of the line.

Closer to home, a mall in Fayetteville, N.C., was evacuated around 2 a.m. after gunfire broke out near the entrance to the food court. No injuries were reported.

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