KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A cashier was shot and killed late Thursday night during an armed robbery attempt at the S&S Cafeteria on Kingston Pike in West Knoxville, police say.
The cashier was identified as Daniel Charles Giles, 60, of Knoxville.
Several officers were called to the scene and WVLT Volunteer TV News reporter Jenna McWilliams reported seeing the male victim loaded into an ambulance and taken to an area hospital.
It happened just before 8 p.m. inside the restaurant at 4808 Kingston Pike, near Forest Park Boulevard.
"Very quickly a shot went out and the whole restaurant erupted," said Emily Lee who was inside at the time of the shooting.
Customers were hiding under tables and employees were hiding in the freezer.
"When I heard he wasn't breathing I started crying cause that could have been anyone one of us. You know, I was up there like 10 minutes before it happened. I mean, that could've been me," said Samantha Cox.
Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said Giles was shot in his chest and transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he died.
Employees told Volunteer TV News that a short black man tried to rob the restaurant a few weeks ago. One of the workers thought the gunman looked like that same man. Police have not confirmed if there was a previously attempted robbery at the restaurant, or if they were looking for the same suspect.
"The best description that we have at this moment from witnesses is that it was a black male wearing tan shorts and a white shirt,” said DeBusk. “He is also wearing a baseball cap."
Reports from the scene indicate the man ran west from Knox Plaza. A Knox County Sheriff’s Office helicopter was immediately launched to try and locate him, but was unsuccessful. He remained on the run early Friday morning.
"We don't know where this individual is,” said DeBusk. “He is armed and should be considered dangerous since he has fired his weapon one time, striking the cashier. We're going to do everything we can to try and identify him as quickly as we can."
If you have any information please call the Knoxville Police Department Tip Line at (865) 215-7212.
Stay connected to Volunteer TV News and VolunteerTV.com for more on this developing news story.