Police say a man, who they believe to be between the ages of 25-30, fired a shot inside the Philomath Market Outlet on Main Street in Philomath Tuesday night just before midnight. Investigators say they believe the man pulled the trigger to scare the cashier, then demanded cash from the register. They say he ran off on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.
Employees at the store say the gunshot put a hole in the wall, which they say investigators cut out to analyze. Police say nobody was injured. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the Corvallis Police Department, and Oregon State Police also responded to the scene Tuesday night to assist Philomath Police.
Investigators are still looking for the suspect, who they say is a white male. They say he was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a black watch cap, blue jeans, and a dark bandana or scarf over the lower part of his face.
The store’s manager at Philomath Market is not commenting at this time.
“It makes your nerves uneasy that something like that would happen,” said Hector Nunez, who works at La Rockita, a Mexican restaurant next door to the market. “I can’t believe something like this would happen in a small community like this.”
Nunez and other neighboring businesses say the area is safe, and the robbery worries them.
“We’re just shocked,” Nunez said. “We’re a family business and we have our little ones here sometimes. We just hoped that something like this wouldn’t happen so close.”
Also next door to Philomath Market is Figaro’s Pizza. Both La Rockita and Figaro’s Pizza say they have security cameras. Figaro’s says it is brainstorming other security measures to take.
“To have this happen is just really scary,” said Amy Kesecker, Figaro’s owner. “I was honestly just scared to come to work – in the daytime.”
Police are asking the public for help identifying the suspect. Anyone who has any information is asked to contact the Philomath Police Department at 541-929-6911.