Assault Rifle Robbery

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Friday, June 17, 2011 - 1:57pm

Security cameras roll as women tackle heavily armed robber.

Colorado police are looking for a man who hit a woman with an assault rifle and then shot his way out of a cell phone store during a robbery attempt Thursday morning.

Officers say what happened before his brazen escape, could have cost two women their lives.

The women had a hunch the robber's gun was fake, so they tried to tackle him.

But the gun was real and Wheat Ridge Police say the women were just a trigger pull away from serious injury or death.

Wheat Ridge Police spokesperson Lisa Stigall says the call came in around 11:20 a.m. from Advantage Wireless.

"The gunman reportedly was carrying an assault rifle, which was unusual," Stigall said.

The man entered the store with an assault rifle.

In store surveillance video, he can be heard demanding money.

There were two women inside at the time, a store clerk and a customer.

The clerk, who asked not to be identified, said she thought the assault rifle was fake so she and a female customer tried to tackle the man and a struggle ensued.

"He didn't look like it would be a real gun," the store owner's sister-in-law Monic Garcia said. "It was almost like if he was a bum and had a play gun or something."

The robber pointed the assault rifle at the clerk, then hit the customer in the head with the gun, but she was not seriously hurt.

Garcia said the man locked himself and the women inside the store.

When he couldn't open the door, he fired several shots into the glass and escaped.

"Until he shot at the door at the very end," Garcia said. "That's when they realized it was real."

Stigall says the armed man ran in the direction of a nearby park, and an SUV was seen speeding away from the area.

Police did not have a clear suspect description Thursday afternoon, as witnesses gave conflicting reports of his age and appearance.

Police were hoping surveillance video would provide some clear pictures of the man, who was not wearing a mask.

Stigall says it could have been much worse.

"Although we appreciate folks that are trying to do the right thing we also do not want loss of life," Stigall said.

Store owner Sinahy Ruiz said he was proud of his employee and the customer.

"Nobody got hurt, that's the most important thing," Ruiz said. "I'm sure there's people out there that will recognize him. He just needs to be brought to justice."
 

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