Relatives, legislator want more security for convenience store workers

Briggs, 45, shot in head Wednesday during robbery

INDIANAPOLIS - The gas station clerk who was shot in the head Wednesday night remained in grave condition Friday.

Harry Briggs, 45, was shot multiple times during an attempted robbery at the gas station where he worked on the city’s southwest side.

The latest shooting of a convenience store worker has many calling for legislation that will provide better security in the workplace.

Legislation proposed last session didn’t go far, but Perry Tole has not given up.

His sister-in-law Marci Birnell was shot in the head at a Village Pantry on the city’s northwest side in 2011.

She survived the shooting, but will never live independently. Tole wants store owners to build barriers that will protect the store workers from gun-toting criminals.

"The stores that have barriers are not the ones that are being robbed. Those aren’t the stores where people are being shot and killed. If you put the barriers up, you will protect people. It’s physics. Put a solid barrier between a gun and an individual and that individual is much less likely to be shot. But these people refuse to do it because of their corruption and their greed," Tole said.

"Other states, Florida and others, have taken real steps. I had a draft bill that was a compromise, it would have gotten a lot of this done and reduced the risk. Maybe the alternative is we have to pay people $15 an hour if they have to risk their life. These people are getting $7 to $8 an hour to risk their lives, this really can’t go on," Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, said.

Delaney said he is undeterred. He will reintroduce legislation that was squashed last session.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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