WORCESTER (CBS) – Police say a Worcester store clerk shot a man who was holding a knife to a customer’s throat.

Saturday around 8:40 p.m., paramedics were driving by No Name store when they saw 26-year-old Juan Ahorrio lying on the sidewalk. Ahorrio had been shot three times, suffering non-life threatening injuries.

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Worcester Police learned that Ahorrio was shot by the store clerk while he was allegedly armed with a knife. When officers entered the store, they found a large knife on the counter.

Witnesses said Ahorrio went up behind one of two female customers in the store and put his arm around her neck while holding the knife.

No Name store in Worcester. (Image Credit: Jim Smith/WBZ-TV)

The clerk pulled out his gun, and the customer fell to the ground. With the customer safely out of the way, the clerk shot the suspect three times.

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Ahorrio dropped the knife and ran, police say. The clerk chased him and ordered him to the ground before running back to check on customers.

The clerk and the customers escaped injury. Police confiscated the clerk’s weapon and license to carry while the investigation is completed.

Ahorrio was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, and armed assault with the intent to rob. He was booked at the hospital and will be arraigned when released.

A day after the incident, customers came out to support the store clerk, who was not identified.

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“I think he did what he had to do. Somebody’s trying to take your stuff, you’ve got to defend yourself, defend your place of business,” one man said. “This is probably what he uses to feed his family. He’s just doing what he’s got to do to protect his.”