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CANTON, Ohio — A gas station clerk, shot while fighting back against armed robbers, remains in the hospital. Two of the robbers were killed, a third remains at large.

The clerk’s friends and co-workers plan to hold a day-long rally for his recovery on Friday. Longtime customer Corey Robb placed money in a collection jar for Lance, the clerk who was shot during the robbery at the Marathon gas station on Ninth Street S.W. in Canton Monday night.

Fox 8 was asked to only use the clerk’s first name.

“I like the guy. He’s a nice guy; he’s one of the nicest guys I ever meet, always in a good mood, always has a smile on his face. It’s just a shame what happened, but he did what he had to do,” Robb said.

Surveillance video shows three men robbing the gas station.

They exchanged gunfire with the clerk, who fired back, striking at least two of the suspects. Ronnie Lawson, 21, and Antonio Gracia, 23, died shortly after running from the store. A third suspect got away.

“Everybody that comes in here knows that all the employees here carry, you know and we don’t understand. These people couldn’t be from this neighborhood, cause it’s just something that you don’t see happening here. Everybody that comes in here knows that Lance open carries,” said co-worker Pat, who only wanted to give his first name.

Pat said people have been donating money in a jar at the station and around town.

On Friday, friends and co-workers are holding the rally to help with his medical bills.

“We want everybody to stop in and just say ‘hey’ you know, if you knew him, you know, even if you didn’t. Sign the card, help him feel better because he’s going through a lot, you know. Two people died and it’s gonna bother him, you know. He needs all the support he can get,” said Pat.

“I think that’s a beautiful thing. He’s a nice guy, good kid, you know what I’m saying, don’t mess with nobody,” said customer Jesse Burns.

“I just wish it could be more support, more giving, more helping out, so he could get better, because all he was doing was trying to defend himself at his job,” said customer Raquel Scutsey.

Co-workers say the 23-year-old has a young daughter and that he always helps people in need.

“If you come into the store and you don’t have enough to cover, Lance would take it out of his pocket,” Pat said.

The rally will be held at the gas station from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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