Man linked to 3 robberies in same day

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Brandon McDermott By Jennifer Thomas Brandon McDermott By Jennifer Thomas
Ashley Thomas By Jennifer Thomas Ashley Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Police say a man who attempted to rob a Phoenix smoke shop Tuesday night is also responsible for two other Valley robberies earlier in the day.

Brandon McDermott, 22, entered the Smoke 4 Less store near Union Hills Drive and Cave Creek Road at approximately 7 p.m. He displayed a handgun and demanded money, according to Phoenix police.

The 30-year-old male victim secured his own weapon from the cabinet under the cash register and fired one round at McDermott, who returned fire, according to police spokesman Officer James Holmes. McDermott sustained a gunshot injury to both legs. The victim was not injured.

Holmes said McDermott ran into the neighborhood and asked a resident if he could use a telephone. The suspect called a “friend,” later identified as Ashley Thomas, and was driven to a local hospital for treatment.

Police arrested McDermott at the hospital.

Investigating officers determined that McDermott matched the description of a suspect who had robbed a cleaners near Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale and a coffee store near 40th Street and Bell Road in Phoenix earlier in the afternoon.

McDermott was later released from the hospital and booked into jail on three counts of armed robbery.

Holmes said Thomas, 24, admitted driving McDermott to and from the business. She was booked into jail on armed robbery-related charges.