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Four Men Murdered in Alabama Blockbuster Store

16 May, 2002 By: Hive News

Four young men, including two brothers browsing for videos, were shot and killed during a robbery at a Blockbuster store in Anniston, Ala., yesterday evening, according to reports from The Associated Press. Two Blockbuster employees and the two customers were reportedly shot at close range and in the back of the head at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15.

Employee Austin Joplin, 22, was found dead at the scene. Co-worker Douglas Neal, 27, died early this morning at a local hospital, according to the AP. Both employees were found in an office area at the rear of the store.

Joseph Burch, “about 21,” and his brother Andrew, “about 19,” were found dead in a back aisle of the store, the AP reported.

Police told the AP that witnesses reported a man about 20 years old with apparent acne scars and long blond hair was seen driving away in a 1980s-model Ford Mustang. The description of both the man and car were similar to that given by witnesses to the hold-up Monday at a Movie Gallery video store in Heflin, Ala., about 20 miles away, police told the AP. A clerk was stabbed during that robbery but survived; he was treated for his wounds and released.

The Blockbuster in Anniston reportedly remained closed Thursday.

“The entire Blockbuster family is saddened by this tragic loss,'' company spokesman Randy Hargrove told the AP. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.''

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