MOBILE, Ala (WPMI) — Being a gas station attendant can be a terrifying job with armed robbers targeting the store at night. One local owner is taking steps to keep his employees safe.
Gulam Ali owns five gas stations in Mobile. In fact, one of them is where three of his employees were shot in July on Sage Avenue and Emogene Street.
"I'm not going to lie to you," he said. "Since the shooting happened at the Sage store, when I go to work I'm always worried."
Ali says since then he’s beefed up security at all of his stores.
"I've installed cameras right in front of the cashier where he can see what's going on outside," he said. "So if they see anyone with a mask on, they already know they're about to walk in."
It doesn't stop there. He says he’s taken it a step further.
"I have put shot guns inside every store and I've told them to keep it loaded," he said.
He says his entire staff is trained on how to use it.
"When it comes to someone trying to rob us, I've told them that if your life is in danger don't hesitate to shoot," he said.
Ali says he's thought about hiring security guards, but it's hard to afford. He says keeping his employees safe is his number one priority.
"I've always told my employees if anyone tries to come rob you, don't fight with them. If they want the money, give them the money. That's fine," he said.
He says he'll continue to take steps to keep them safe, but whatever's making thieves target gas stations needs to stop.
"A lot of innocent people are getting shot or dying and it's not okay," he said.
There’s also a button behind the counter clerks can press that automatically calls the police.
Ali says he has told his employees that if for any reason they feel unsafe at night they can close down the store early.