MASKED robbers stormed a petrol station armed with a knife and a handgun.
Police were called to the BP garage in Brockhurst Road, Gosport, after two men in balaclavas threatened a female worker and stole cash from the till.
No shots were fired and there were no customers in the shop at the time.
Police say the worker was left with some injuries although they did not reveal how she got them except to say she was not stabbed.
It happened at around 9.50pm on Thursday.
One neighbour, who lives nearby and did not want to be named, said: ‘I go in there sometimes and the staff are all really nice.
‘I feel sorry for whoever was working in there because that’s going to stay with them forever probably.
‘It must have been awful and it’s a terrible thing to put somebody through.’
It is not known how much money the robbers stole.
Another neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: ‘It’s surprising and frightening to think they had a gun.
‘My husband was going to go for a pint of milk but changed his mind at the last minute and I’m glad he did.’
Police immediately carried out an air and land search for the suspects.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Tina Lowe, said: ‘The woman is very shaken by what happened.
‘Officers are providing support to look after her and confirm more details about the circumstances.
‘A dedicated team of CID and uniform officers are already pursuing several promising leads to identify and arrest suspects.
‘I would like to thank members of the public who have come forward with information already.
‘Police have received no similar reports in the area, but we would always advise businesses to routinely review their security procedures to help prevent crime.’
Detectives have issued a description of the offenders in a bid to catch them.
One was wearing black trousers, a jacket with a grey hooded top underneath and light-coloured trainers.
The other was wearing a dark-coloured hooded top with white piping on the front and back down the sides.
He also wore dark tracksuit bottoms and light-coloured trainers.
Detectives yesterday closed the garage while they looked through CCTV footage and carried out a forensic search of the site.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Dog Support Unit was also sent to search for evidence.
Anyone with information should call police on 101.
Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.