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Three arrested in Foodland robbery, shooting

By By Erin Beck
Staff writer
ERIN BECK | Saturday Gazette-Mail John Proctor III, 19, of Charleston, is escorted into Kanawha County Magistrate Court for his arraignment on first-degree robbery and malicious wounding charges. He allegedly shot Shawna Sampson, a clerk at the Kanawha City Foodland, in the chest during an armed robbery.
ERIN BECK | Saturday Gazette-Mail Ricky Patterson, 18, was allegedly paid $30 to scope out the store before John Proctor and a 17-year-old went into the store to rob it.
F. BRIAN FERGUSON | Saturday Gazette-Mail Foodland employee Joline McBrayer takes a break from work Friday morning. “You never think it’s going to happen in your store,” she said. “I’ll be looking around before I come in here.”
F. BRIAN FERGUSON | Saturday Gazette-Mail Business is normal as shoppers buy their groceries at the Kanawha City Foodland Friday morning, hours after a store clerk was critically wounded during a robbery. Store clerk Shawna Sampson, 44, of Winifrede was shot in the chest. She was in serious but stable condition Friday at CAMC General Hospital.
A security camera at the Kanawha City Foodland captured this image of one of the robbers armed with a pistol.
This security-camera image is of the other robber.

Three Charleston teenagers were arrested Friday night in the armed robbery of a Kanawha City grocery store, in which a store clerk was shot and seriously wounded.

John Proctor III, 19, is charged with first-degree robbery and malicious wounding. Ricky Patterson, 18, and a 17-year-old male identified only as “L.L.” were charged with first-degree robbery. The three were arraigned late Friday night by Kanawha County Magistrate Mike Sisson.

Police issued warrants Friday for two other Charleston residents, Telisa McCauley and Alisyn Lee Proctor, John Proctor’s sister. Police believe the two women drove the getaway car in Thursday’s robbery.

Police said all five people charged in the robbery are related.

John Proctor’s shoulders were drooped and he had his head down during much of his arraignment Friday night.

He allegedly shot Shawna Sampson, a clerk at the Foodland in Kanawha City, in the chest when she entered the store’s office, where police say he and the 17-year-old had gotten into the safe.

Sampson, a 44-year-old Winifred resident, was in serious but stable condition late Friday afternoon.

L.L.’s arraignment was closed. His family members could be seen crying while leaving magistrate court.

Patterson allegedly went into the Foodland before the robbery to make sure the safe was still open and that no police officers were in the store. He was paid $30 for his role, police said.

Both he and Proctor could now could face 10 years or more in a state correctional facility.

The police were able to solve the case after Sampson identified L.L. as a regular at the Foodland store in Chesapeake, where she used to work.

A friend of L.L. and Proctor, identified as “B.W.,” admitted to police that he also was paid $30 to scope out the scene with Patterson before the robbery.

Charleston Police Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper said B.W. also faces robbery charges.

The juvenile referred to as L.L. was picked up for questioning and told police what happened, they said.

Proctor and L.L. allegedly burst into the store at about 10:15 p.m., ordered customers and employees to get down on the floor and demanded money, according to the criminal complaint. Proctor carried a pistol, while L.L. had a pellet gun, police say.

L.L. allegedly told police that McCauley and Alisyn Lee Proctor were paid $3,000 each to act as getaway drivers and were waiting a few blocks away in a PT Cruiser.

The group stayed in a Super 8 motel in Barboursville Thursday night.

Joline McBrayer has worked at the Kanawha City Foodland as a cake decorator for 16 years.

“I found out [about the robbery and shooting] this morning when I came into work,” McBrayer said Friday. “I couldn’t get over it. I can’t believe this happened.”

She said Friday that she had talked to Sampson about Sampson’s son, who was supposed to start working at Foodland. The two shared health concerns about diabetics, and about life in general.

“You never think it’s going to happen at your store,” McBrayer said. “I’ll be looking around before I come in here.”

She plans to call Sampson once her co-worker is well enough to take phone calls.

“I’ve been praying for her all morning,” McBrayer said. “I’ll tell her to take your time, get well and come back to us.”

Elizabeth Lambros, 83, of Kanawha City, has shopped at Foodland for 25 years. She found out about Thursday night’s robbery while doing her grocery shopping Friday morning and felt cautious.

“That’s a shame,” Lambros said on Friday, before the arrests. “I have a feeling I’ll give [Foodland] a little space until we know who did it and why.”

Mim Abernethy has been a loyal Foodland shopper for years. She was buying groceries for a family meal Friday night with her daughter, her daughter’s husband and her grandson.

“I just told the girls at the register I was glad they’re all right,” Abernethy said. “I feel like I know them. They have been working here so long — you see them every week — I was just concerned about them.”

“On behalf of my family, and our extended Foodland family, our thoughts and prayers are with Shawna, who was the victim of a senseless act, as well as her family and friends,” the store’s owner, Rick Joseph, said in a prepared statement.

Staff writers Rusty Marks, Caitlin Cook and Rachel Molenda contributed to this report. Reach Erin Beck at or 304-348-5163.

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