On Wednesday, December 9 at 8.50pm, a man armed with a handgun entered the 3’s Convenience Store in North End Avenue, Portsmouth and pulled the gun out on a 26-year-old shopkeeper – but certainly wasn’t ready for what happened next.
CCTV footage given to The News shows how the shopkeeper fought the gunman over the counter, pushing the handgun away from him as the hooded man demanded cash from the till.
He then he struck the attacker with a stick using one hand and called the police with the other, smashing through the protective screen on the counter to defend himself.
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Realising he’s beaten, the robber tries to flee the store, but was chased by the shopkeeper up towards Gladys Avenue.
Nothing was stolen in the attempted robbery.
Store manager Priyanka Ambawaththa has hailed her employee, who has not been named, as a hero.
She said: ‘The person at the till refused to hand over money when the attacker came in, that’s when he pulled the gun out.
‘I don’t know what this guy was thinking when he came in, but he left empty-handed.
‘It was so brave of him.’
Ms Ambawaththa says police are convinced the gun was real, as the man can be seen loading bullets in the CCTV footage.
Although she wasn’t in the store herself when the incident took place, it’s had a profound effect on her.
She said: ‘This area isn’t a good place to be, and having lived here for so many years I know that all too well.
‘There are always problems with drugs or alcohol, usually with younger people, but I never expected to have a problem with guns.
‘This was a scary thing to happen and I’m just glad nobody was hurt.’
A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘Officers have conducted a number of enquiries and are now turning to the public for help in identifying the man in this image.
‘He is described as being white, around 30 years old, around 5ft 9ins tall and of a slim build. He was wearing a black jacket with a hood, and dark trousers.’
Call police on 101 quoting 44200475720 if you know the man in the photo.