Store owner recounts being held hostage with gun to his head

By Stacy

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -- Less than 48 hours after fighting with a man with a gun, Gias Uddin pointed out where his blood still marks the struggle that happened at his store Monday night.

"I never dreamt of something like that. Never," Uddin said.

Uddin returned to the store Wednesday for the first time. Minutes later, several of his regular customers embraced him, happy to see he was okay. Christopher Flowers was one of Uddin's regulars, he said.

"He came to my store like every week," he said.

But he didn't even see Flowers coming Monday night.

"He just grabbed me like that from behind me," he said, while gripping an arm around his own throat. "He grabbed me like this and put his gun to my head. And he said give me all your money."

He then walked down the aisle to the store counter where he handed over cash and credit cards to Uddin. He said he wanted to do anything to keep himself alive. After that, the gun fired.

"He shot me right here and then I just do 'like that,'" he said, as he pushed an imaginary gun away from his neck. "I said, 'Man come on.' And when I do that, the bullet go through my finger."

From there, he said Flowers dragged him to the store's back room.

"He tied me. I have to lay down. He grabbed my hand. He tied my hand first. He tied my leg first. And then he tied everything together to my neck," he said.

He said Flowers was drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and marijuana as he executed the robbery and tying him.

Uddin said he asked Flowers to loosen the ties.

"He said no. I said I'm going to be bleeding to death. It took me a minute to untie myself. He said, 'Don't move. If you move, I'll shoot you,'" he said.

He said Flowers surrendered to police after more than an hour.

For Uddin, it was an hour of pain and agony. He wondered if he'd ever see his family again, including his 4-day-old daughter.

"I just think about my kid. I thought I'd be dead," he said.

The thought of them made his struggle worth every minute.

Gias said he was not sure whether he would keep the store open. He said he was still recovering mentally.

Authorities charged Flowers with four crimes including attempted murder. He is in jail with bond set at $80,000.