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Central Alberta store owner shot during early morning robbery

The owner of a general store in Bluffton, Alta., was shot after calling out a customer who he says did not pay for gas or groceries on Friday morning.

Owner of Bluffton City General Store is back at work and hopes suspect will be caught

RCMP released photos of the suspect's car in relation to a shooting on early Friday morning in Bluffton, Alta. (RCMP )

The owner of a general store in Bluffton, Alta., was shot after calling out a customer who he says did not pay for gas or groceries on Friday morning.

Christy Graham, owner of Bluffton City General Store in the hamlet of Bluffton, 60 kilometres northwest of Red Deer, said a man entered the store around 6:05 a.m. to leave his card at the counter to fill up for gas.

After filling up, the man came back into the store, got some groceries and returned to the counter where Graham's wife rang up the bill.

However, the man's card was declined. 

Graham said the man told his wife he would grab another card from his car but he returned empty-handed.

Graham said his wife asked for him to get involved because she found the man "strange," but by the time he came out the man was already in his car.

"He had pulled up front so I thought he was going to, you know, come in and straighten it out," Graham said.

Instead when he went to confront him, Graham said the man then asked, "Do you want me to shoot you?"

That's when he pulled out a gun.

"It felt like somebody punched me really hard," Graham recalled.

 He said the man got back in his car like it was no big deal.

"This guy shot me for no reason and it was no skin off his back."  

Photos released by RCMP of suspect wanted in relation to a shooting at a general store in Rimbey, Alta. (RCMP)

Rimbey RCMP responded to the shooting 15 minutes later and Graham was taken to the hospital. 

He was released later that evening. 

"It was through and through," Graham told CBC News. "It hit the bone and ricocheted off the top of my shoulder."

He's back at work now but he still needs to go to the hospital daily to get the bandages changed. 

In a news release, police said the suspect fled in a smaller grey or silver sedan with a sunroof.

He is described as five feet six to five feet 10 inches tall, slim with dark skin, short hair and no facial hair. He was wearing a black/blue parka with fur trimmed hood, black pants, and black shoes with a white stripe

It's also believed there was a passenger in the car with him.

Graham said what worries him most is the man didn't appear to be afraid to use the gun. 

"This guy needs to be caught."

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