Taxi's surveillance video could help in clerk shooting case

Police: Clerk shot during robbery attempt at Westside food store

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man accused of shooting a convenience store clerk in the face during a robbery was caught on camera by a taxi cab's surveillance video, which the company has offered to police to help in the investigation.

The driver for Coastal Cab was in the area and was also able to provide video from the cab's camera that showed a clear picture of the robber's face, an employee said.

“It’s happened several times that we've had captured stuff that was used to solve issues,” Sherry Gagliardi said.

There’s no audio to the video, and it’s pretty unremarkable, until you put together what happened right after the person caught on camera walks through the parking lot Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses believe the man on the video is 31-year-old Martinis Williams, who's been charged with attempted murder and armed robbery in the holdup at Bill's Food Store on Confederate Point Road.

Gagliardi said a Coastal Cab and Northeast Transportation Group taxi cab was recording surveillance video when Williams walked by.

“It makes me feel excellent because we initially started to put the cameras in the vehicles for the safety of our drivers, along with insurance issues and stuff like that, but mostly for the drivers,” Gagliardi said. “And it's turned out to be good in numerous ways.”

Police said Williams ran from the store but that a good witness description allowed officers to capture him a short distance away, near a police substation.

Police said the robbery was caught on surveillance video and shows Williams pointing a revolver at the clerk, Richard Tucker, who took money from the register and handed it to Williams before Williams fired a shot, hitting the clerk in the face.

Police said Williams had blood all over his shirt, sneakers and shorts when he was caught.

Williams, who was wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag in the video, discarded the hoodie in the store, but had the same bag on him when he was caught. Police said the bag contained cash, cigarettes and a gun that matched surveillance video from the store.

“When they need us, we're there. It's that simple,” Gagliardi said. “It's super easy. There's no thought process to it at all. If they know we have something and we have something they need, then we'll keep the lines of communication open.”

Gagliardi is hopeful the video will help prosecutors make a case against Williams.

She said she also hopes the clerk -- known to many as “Steve” -- recovers.

Tucker was taken to a hospital in critical condition but was improving Thursday, according to a woman who lives with him.

Williams is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, police said.

About the Authors: