NASSAU – A quick thinking employee at a clothing store in the Town Centre Mall disarmed a shotgun wielding 13-year-old girl who tried to rob the store yesterday afternoon and wrestled her to the ground, store employees said.
A single shot went off inside the store during the struggle, however no one was hurt, employees said.
The teenager entered the Zona Viva boutique dressed in boy’s clothes with a concealed sawed off shot gun inside a shopping bag, a police officer said at the scene.
A boy, believed to be her alleged accomplice, ran out of the store after the girl was disarmed. He returned a short time later, dressed in a different shirt, and was arrested, police said.
The drama stunned the store’s employees and mall customers who were caught off guard by the teen’s daring robbery attempt, which happened shortly after noon.
Salesman Kenneth Pinder, who disarmed the assailant, said the girl tried on a few pairs of shoes and other items.
She then approached the cash register, pretended as if she was going to pay for them before she pulled out a shotgun and tried to rob the place.
“I noticed it,” Pinder, 38, said. “I was off at a distance and I ran at the customer, snatched the shotgun and the shot went off.
“The customer ran out of the store; I ran after her, caught her not too far off by that post there with my co-worker.”
Store Manager Charles Fox said the assailant was in the store on Thursday and told him she planned to return the next day to buy some jeans.
“From she came in, she was acting a [little] funny,” Fox said.
“She got a lot of items at the time, and she was hesitant to pay. At that time, she [got] the shotgun, and she went to open fire on me and my boss, whoever was behind the register.”
Pinder and Fox wrestled the girl to the ground and then carried her to the mall’s security booth where they waited for the police.
Fox said the girl’s alleged accomplice did not enter the store with her, but it appeared that they were working together.
“We noticed after watching the [store’s] footage that they were giving each other eye contact and stuff,” he said.
“We were so busy serving we didn’t pick up on all that. At the time when the shot fired, he ran out the store; he was wearing a red shirt at the time.
“When the police were here, he came back in the mall, and he was wearing a white shirt and they apprehended him.”
A frequent customer who did not want to be named said she was about to enter the store when the incident occurred.
“I heard the shot, so I stepped back and I saw this girl run out and I saw the fellow holding her and put couple punches on her,” she said.
“I saw the guy over her with the gun, and they called the security [officers], and they pulled her away.”
Fox said the incident has made him question whether the store’s owners need to invest in a firearm to protect the business from thieves.
A day earlier, Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller said the government should pass a law to permit business people to carry guns – including hand guns – for the protection of their properties and lives. (Nassau Guardian)