Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department have been investigating a shooting that badly injured a teenage suspect in Joelton.
The incident happened at Chip's Quik Stop market in the 7200 block of Whites Creek Pike, just south of the Interstate 24 interchange.
Investigators said the clerk, later identified as 58-year-old Zane Friend, went around the building to smoke a cigarette just after 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
Police said three masked suspects were waiting outside. One of them had a shotgun, while the other two stood behind him. The suspect with the shotgun attempted to order Friend to go back into the store.
However, investigators said Friend was also armed and fired at least one gunshot at the suspects, hitting the one with the shotgun in his midsection. The other two fled from the scene.
One of the two suspects who fled dropped what appeared to be a handgun, but authorities said it turned out to be a starter pistol.
Authorities identified the suspect who was shot as 18-year-old Gabriel Gonzales, of Clarksville. He was taken to Skyline Medical Center with critical injuries that required surgery.
Police said there were two witnesses who were pulling into the convenience store at the time of the shooting, and they ran to help Gonzales.
Officials said Friend took the loaded shotgun, secured it, and also helped render aid to Gonzales until the ambulance arrived.
The clerk was not injured in the incident. Authorities said the shotgun had been reported stolen in Clarksville in April.
Once Gonzales has been released from the hospital, he will be taken into custody on charges of attempted aggravated robbery, unlawful gun possession, and gun theft.
Police confirmed Gonzales and his accomplices have been under investigation in connection with other recent robberies in Middle Tennessee.