Employees at Casey's say man stabbed was a regular

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COLUMBIA - Employees at the Casey’s General Store on Rangeline Street said the homeless man who was stabbed over the weekend was a regular. 

Kathleen Carter, the store manager for the Casey’s located on Rangeline, said she was at home when she got the call from one of her employees. When she arrived, the police were already there trying to get as much information as they could. 

She said she and her employees did not see the suspect. 

“We did not and my understanding is he was not somebody who normally came here," Carter said. "He was from a different area."  

According to the probable cause statement, Jessie Williams shot the 73-year-old homeless man with a paintball gun while he was sleeping under a bridge, punched him in the face and then stabbed him. 

Police said he had blood all over his clothes and his injuries were life-threatening. Police have not released the victim’s name.

The homeless man walked to the Casey's nearby for help. Carter said one of her clerks told her he was originally just going to wash up in the bathroom and leave without seeking medical attention, but the employee insisted and called for help. 

“I don’t think he even realized how seriously he was injured when he got up here,” she said. 

Carter said the homeless man used to come into the store two to three times a day. 

“He bought his breakfast from us, he bought his lunch from us, he bought his dinner from us most times, so he pretty much ate here,” she said. 

She said he got everything he needed from them. 

“He liked to put hot sauce on his french fries,” she said. “I do remember that cause we’d have to get hot sauce for him. I mean he’d come in every single day just about, and I think we were his restaurant.” 

She said he was very religious and polite, but would have to ask him to leave once in a while. 

“He could get a little obnoxious, just come out a little too strong with my clerks and kind of step over the bounds once in a while,” she said. “But normally he’s a very religious person, very polite. He’d bless us as he left. If he thought we needed a little comfort, he would say nice things to us. He was a really nice guy most of the time.” 

Carter said she wants to let people know that if they came into the store in a similar situation, that they would try to do as much as they could to help them.

“I’ve got some pretty cool employees here," she said. "I really do. They care about their customers.”

Carter said there are certain protocols employees have to follow to keep everyone safe. She said it's policy to have three people close the store down in the evenings, and when they leave, they all have to leave the parking lot together. She also said the store tries to have an assistant manager or manager on site as much as they can.