NYC bodega owners call for increased security after clerk shot in the Bronx

New York City bodega owners are once again calling for more to be done to stop gun violence after a clerk at a store in the Bronx was shot in the stomach in broad daylight on Wednesday.

The shooting happened around midday at the Gourmet Deli on Webster and 183rd Street, where authorities say a 33-year-old man was shot in the stomach.

According to Fernando Mateo of the United Bodegas of America, the victim, identified as Joseph Lewis, worked as a clerk at the store when the incident happened. 

Lewis reportedly got into a dispute with a customer who had made a mess of taking ice out of a refrigerator. Lewis allegedly followed the suspect out of the store, where the suspect went to his car, pulled out a handgun, and shot the victim.

"It is unacceptable that we have to live in fear," Mateo said at a press conference after the shooting.

Mateo says he and bodega workers are calling for the city to reinstate controversial stop-and-frisk policies and to provide more funding for cameras, panic buttons, and bulletproof doors inside bodegas.

Mateo is also calling for New York City bodega workers to arm themselves for self-defense.

"We need to make sure, first and foremost, that our bodega owners get licensed weapons so that they can protect themselves and protect their community," Mateo said. 

The search for the gunman is ongoing.