HOUSTON, Texas — A video released this week shows the moment of terror as a trio of heavily armed robbers invade a southeast Houston grocery store. It was the second armed robbery of this store in four months.
Three armed gunmen wearing masks and black clothing burst into the Todo Supermarket in southeast Houston on Friday night. The gunmen fired off rounds as they entered the store and well trained store clerks rushed into a “safe room” to get out of harm’s way, the video reveals.
About 7 p.m. on Friday night, the three men drove up in a green Mitsubishi SUV and rushed into the store. Two cashiers were checking out a customer when the men opened fire. The clerks reacted immediately and rushed to the “safe room” and slammed the door shut just before one of the robbers got to the door.
The store customer dove onto the floor and lay motionless as the robbers rushed around trying to find a way into the locked room.
“It was about like another second (after me and my co-worker closed the door) and (the robbers) would have gotten inside,” store clerk Noor Kadiwala told the reporter from KHOU.
The store security video shows the three men were heavily armed. One man was carrying what appears to be an AK-47 style rifle. The second was armed with a shotgun and the third, a semi-automatic pistol. It appears all three tried to shoot their way into the room – blasting away at the door lock and windows.
After their robbery attempt was frustrated by the locked room, the robbers stole wallets and cell phones from store customers and then left, KHOU reported. It appears they did not attempt to open the cash register or take it with them.
The locked room had bullet-proof glass that prevented the gunmen from getting in, but they were able to fire shots through the opening where customers put their money when being checked out. Shots flew around inside the room, but no one was struck.
“People who are outside assumed that we were dead because they heard so many shots fired,” Kadiwala told ABC13.
“If I was meant to die today, I would’ve been dead,” he told the Houston ABC affiliate. “It’s all God’s grace … saved all of us.
During the first part of the robbery, the man armed with the shotgun points his gun at a Hispanic man lying on the floor. The man pulled out his wallet and appeared to beg for his life, KTRK ABC13 reported.
The robbers left with very little to show for their efforts.
Amazingly, no one was injured in the failed robbery attempt.
Just over two weeks ago, two armed men entered a Café Express restaurant in one of Houston’s wealthiest neighborhood, River Oaks. One of those robbers also fired a shot into the ceiling of the restaurant, Breitbart Texas reported in July.
“Just the fact they fired off their gun inside a restaurant makes you think they probably would do something more if they didn’t get what they wanted or what have you,” Mike Winters told KPRC NBC2 in July.
No one was injured in the Café Express robbery.