The shooting happened after a man entered the store at the Hess gas station in Winter Garden, Florida, early Friday and asked a clerk to help him find a particular beverage.
The man then pulled out a revolver and demanded that the clerk open the safe, CNN affiliate WESH reported, but the clerk was unable to get the safe door open.
Another clerk then entered the store and was also ordered to open the safe.
After both the store workers’ efforts to open it failed, the man fired a single gunshot as he left the store, WESH reported, citing police.
Emergency services workers were called to the store, and as they were interviewing one of the clerks, he complained of chest pains.
“So they started looking at the clerk. That’s when they realized that the guy had actually shot at him, hit him, struck his cell phone, and the cell phone had stopped his bullet,” Winter Garden Police Lt. Scott Allen said.
The chest pains were caused by the impact of the bullet on the cell phone, which was in the clerk’s chest pocket, according to WESH.
He didn’t suffer any other injuries and was quickly released after being checked at a hospital, the TV station said.
His HTC smartphone came off worse. A photo showed its screen shattered around a hole where the bullet had lodged.
“I’ve seen individuals get shot with low-caliber handguns and I’ve seen it be life ending. So, for this gentleman to be as lucky as he is, it’s a good day for us,” Allen said.
The other clerk was reported to be unharmed.
Police described the suspect in the attack as a black man about 6 feet tall wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, pants, sunglasses, a bright yellow traffic vest and white gloves, according to WESH. He remained on the loose Monday evening, it reported.
Authorities aren’t disclosing the name of the clerk who was shot, the TV station reported.