The latest shooting in Blytheville that left a store owner and another person dead has many local businesses on edge.
A Fasco Hardware employee is doing what she can to avoid being the target of Blytheville’s crime.
“It hit close to home, I mean close,” Pam Hughes, a Fasco employee said of the Cherrytree Food Mart double homicide.
On Monday, Hughes changed the store’s hours. She is locking up shop an hour early before the sun goes down to keep employees and customers out of the dark.
“We do that for safety,” Hughes said. “Like I said, we look around, we pay attention and we won’t walk out if there's anybody walking up we just stay inside.”
Even with security cameras lining the walls and metal bars secured along the doors, employees remain on edge.
“I like my job but I don't like this,” a 12-year Fasco employee said.
The 82-year-old never had to deal with this, crime affecting business. He hopes customers understand their decision to improve safety.
“We want them to understand why we are doing what we are doing,” he said. It's not them it’s what we don't know that's scary.”
“We'd be better off if we just kept our doors locked because we don't feel safe anymore,” Hughes said.
She is less afraid of losing customers following the store's changes than losing her life.
“When we keep the doors locked they'll wait,” she said. “I mean they'll pull up and wait five minutes while I’m taking care of another customer, but they are good customers, they’ll wait.”
Hughes said the new hours will stick until the crime subsides. Right now she and her coworkers don’t want to take a chance.
“I feel for the people who have gone through this,” an employee said. “I just don't want to be one of them.”
Instead of closing at 5:30 p.m. during weekdays, Fasco’s will close at 4:30 p.m. They open at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays.
BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.