ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– A robber targeted a Spanish grocery store in Annapolis, but he got way more than what he bargained for.
Weijia Jiang tells us how the store workers took justice into their own hands.
Police say this could have been a do-or-die situation so the workers did what they had to do, and sent their attacker to Shock Trauma.
Getting beat up and sent to the hospital was not part of 26-year-old Darius Cameron’s plan to rob a food store at gunpoint. On Friday just before 9:30 p.m., investigators say Cameron demanded cash from the clerk at Anita’s Spanish Grocery in Annapolis.
When she said “no,” police say Cameron tried to shoot her and two other employees, but the gun didn’t work.
“Cameron jumped the counter and when he jumped the counter, he dropped the handgun,” said Det. Amy Miguez of the Annapolis Police Dept. “A struggle ensued.”
Police say the employees threw grocery items at Cameron, chased him around the store and down the aisles, and held him until police arrived.
“Everybody’s got their eye out, the whole community,” said Debbie Brown, a regular customer of Anita’s who was at the store when the attack happened.
Brown said the family that owns and runs the store is well-loved. She’s not surprised they fought back.
“You know, knowing these girls, they’re tough, they’re tough girls,” she said. “They probably took a stand and said, ‘You know what? They’re not gonna shoot me. I’m gonna do what I have to do to protect my family.'”
Police say officers arrived quickly because the clerk also activated the panic alarm button. Still, many shoppers are still shaken.
“In my country, it’s regular,” said Luis Rubios, an Anita’s customer. “But here, all people are scared and (screams), cry and everything.”
The man who police say caused that fear is being held without bail. Cameron faces a slew of charges, including three counts of attempted murder.
One of those store workers had minor injuries but police say it’s really lucky they weren’t more seriously hurt given the gravity of the situation, and they urge others not to copy what they did.
Cameron is also charged with assault, armed robbery and weapons charges.