A convenience store clerk shot in a robbery Wednesday night was likely saved by the actions of a Bellmead dispatcher who help lead Waco police to the injured man. 

The clerk was shot at least twice in the robbery attempt by two men who entered the Huggy Bear Food Mart, 2924 Gholson Road, shortly before 11:10 p.m., police said. The injured clerk called 911 on a cellphone, which is more difficult to track than a landline.

Though the address was in Waco, Bellmead communications officer Kelsey Smith picked up the call and heard the man screaming for help, Bellmead Lt. Brenda Kinsey said.

Smith used call coordinates to narrow the location down to East Lake Shore Drive and Gholson Road and tried to keep the injured man on the phone. 

Smith called Waco police to transfer the call when the man either lost connection with dispatch or disconnected the call, Kinsey said. Smith, a dispatcher for the last nine months, kept the line open and relayed information to Waco police.

Officers and emergency medical personnel arrived and found the clerk suffering from gunshot wounds. Kinsey said. The man was taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center for treatment.

Waco police reported they were searching for at least two subjects that may have been involved in the robbery attempt. No other information was available from Waco police on Thursday.

Kinsey said Smith's actions to notify Waco police and provide information to locate the injured clerk was exceptional. She said she will be submitting Smith's name to Interim Police Chief Danny Smith and Interim City Manager Yost Zakhary for consideration for a life-saving award.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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