Crimetracker: Woman held up in robbery reacts to death of suspected gunman

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Five robberies may be solved after a shooting in front of an east Knoxville store.

On Wednesday, police say Justin Jackson walked in to the Dollar General on Asheville Highway, showed a gun, and demanded cash. After a shootout with the store manager, Jackson died.

But a sock he wore on his hand during that robbery now connects him to five other armed robberies in just the past month.

Those include: a Dollar General on Rutledge Pike, a CVS on Asheville Highway, a Breadbox on Whittle Springs Road, and a gas station on Whittle Springs Road where surveillance cameras caught that violent robbery in action.

Ashlea Thornburg was working the night of that robbery, and often thinks about that the moment when the man walked in holding a gun, threatening her life for some cash

"When he walked out there, he asked me where I was going. Then he grabbed me by my work shirt and pulled me back into the register," said Thornburg. "He just kept on saying, 'I just need a little bit of pocket change.' And then if we moved, he was gonna shoot us, kept repeating that over and over again."

Thornburg says he had his hand on the trigger as he screamed, and she can still hear his deep voice, demanding the money.

"The way that he was aggressive, and the way that he treated us, I really thought if we made one mistake, that he would've shot either one of us," said Thornburg.

So when she heard the man in the video is likely dead, she takes some comfort believing he won't come back.

"Well I was kinda relieved, but it could happen again," said Thornburg. "I just wish it didn't happen the way it happened. I just wish they could've caught him without going through all that."

She still comes to work everyday, thankful she can go home to her 14-month old daughter. But she can't help but think this could happen again.

That was the second robbery in two weeks at the Indi Sai market.
Police are still looking for a different suspect in that one.

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