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BOUNTIFUL — When two men tried to rob his store Friday morning, a Bountiful pawn shop clerk hid for a moment before shooting and killing one of the suspects who pointed a gun at him, authorities said.
The clerk was "obviously defending himself" when he fatally shot the man Thursday, Bountiful Police Lt. Dave Edwards said after officers reviewed video footage from the store. The other suspect is still on the run.
The pair is also wanted in connection with a string of robberies in Oklahoma and in Texas, including one at a MetroPCS store, Edwards said.
"We're very lucky we don't have a store clerk who was killed or injured today," he said.
The names of those involved have not been released. The man who died was 40 years old and from Colorado, Edwards said. An Oklahoma court issued a warrant for his arrest Friday morning.
About 10 a.m., the pair — one with a gun and another with a hammer — entered Bountiful Pawn, 135 S. 500 West, as it was opening for the day Friday, Edwards said.
When the man with the gun turned to close the store's door, the clerk rushed to a store room, drew the concealed weapon he was carrying and waited in a corner. He then fired when the man followed him into the small room, Edwards said.
The two fought on the ground before the man who was shot succumbed to his injuries, Edwards said. The clerk also suffered minor injuries, including a cut to his head and a black eye. No other employees were in the store at the time.
It was not known Friday whether the suspects fired any shots.
The clerk believes the pair had stopped by the shop about 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, but tried to hide their faces with their shirts and left when others noticed them, Edwards said. Police say the pair was staying in a Salt Lake hotel Thursday night and had been in Utah for at least a couple days before the shooting.
The second robber ran out of the store after his accomplice was shot. Police did not know if the man was also injured or had a gun. Edwards said investigators are considering him "armed and dangerous." Bountiful police believe he robbed stores in other states based on information about the car he fled in, though they have yet to identify him, Edwards said.
Detectives say the man took off in a white SUV that was parked across the street from the pawn shop. He was last seen wearing a blue face mask, a gray hoodie and jeans.
Police are looking for a white 2005 Saturn VUE driven by the suspect still on the run. It has a Colorado license plate and number BMT 182.
Contributing: Paul Nelson