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Wounded store clerk thankful of ‘second chance’ back on job

Posted at 11:19 PM, Jul 28, 2015

RICHMOND, Va -- Poppy Shaaban is back in the mix at the One Stop Mart on the city's Northside.

The clerk is a Northside favorite, and was met with handshakes, hugs and a little humor Tuesday. "I think you’re Ironman,” said one customer. “No, I'm Superman," said Poppy.

Customer and clerk were clearly happy to see each other again.  "No if you were Superman, you'd be faster than a speeding bullet and that didn't work out," said the customer.

They were catching up after a few weeks of lost time behind the counter.

"Yesterday was so emotional for me: everyone hug me and kiss me and so happy to see me,” said Poppy, who was shot twice by a robber that stormed in the store, demanding cash back on July 7.

"I see the guy.  He's so scared, he don't ask for nothing except the money,” Poppy said.  “So I put my hands up.  I said, ‘what about the money?’ and he started to shoot."

Poppy was hit once in the chest and once in the backside.  It's taken him three weeks to recover.

Poppy Shaaban

Poppy Shaaban

"Emotionally I’m not so good, but physically I'm alright."

The man that attempted to rob the market is still at large, but Poppy is alive, defying the odds.

"Thank god for a second chance at life," he said.

Poppy is back at work and making a living. Being shot isn’t he long-time clerk’s only battle: Poppy has throat cancer, COPD, a respiratory illness, and suffers from severe hearing loss.

He said he can't quit because the people that shop at his store, are like family.  "They make me feel like I grew up in Highland Park and that's for real," said Poppy.

But the realness is in the way Shaaban bravely stands behind the counter, staring at the bullet holes in the store wall, ready to work without reservation.

"I am real happy to see him back," said Yane Scott, a long-time regular customer.

Poppy said he's still not ready to work a shift by himself.  If you recognize the man in the surveillance photo, call police.

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