Families of victims of convenient store robberies demand change to protect others

The forum is taking place as victim Marcy Birnell, 45, continues to recover from critical injuries after being shot in the head during a robbery at a northwest side Village Pantry in October.

Indianapolis

A public forum at the Indiana Government Center South Thursday morning is giving people the opportunity to speak about safety improvements for convenient stores employees across the state.

The Indiana Department of Labor and convenience store owners formed a working group last month to come up with better ways to enhance the safety of late night store clerks, and the forum is a part of that process.

The forum is taking place as victim Marcy Birnell, 45, continues to recover from critical injuries after being shot in the head during a robbery at a northwest side Village Pantry in October. 

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in the crime.

Pictures of Birnell, released by the family, show what she looked like shortly after she was shot and what she looks like presently. She is being treated at an out-of-state rehabilitation facility.

The Birnell family spokesperson, ¿Theresia Whitfield, said Birnell is making progress, but her life will be forever changed.

¿"She'll never be the same,” said Whitfield. “She is a walking miracle as far as her family is concerned, because she's walking and she is speaking somewhat. Initially, doctors said she would never be able to speak again, but she is having a lot of comprehension problems still. She is learning everything from ground zero."

There is no word on how long Birnell will be in rehab. Meantime, State Representative Ed DeLaney is hopeful an agreement on enhanced safety measures can be made between the Indiana Department of Labor and convenience store owners. If not, DeLaney said he will propose legislation this fall that will force owners to make improvements. The public forum begins at 9 a.m. at the Indiana Government Center South in Conference Center, room B.

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