VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Less than a week ago, two robbery suspects were shot by a customer inside a Virginia Beach 7-Eleven. One of the suspects died and another is in jail.
Barrie Engel was another customer in the store at the time. She calls the shooter a hero and wants to make sure he knows how much she appreciates what he did.
“It’s hard to get something like this out of your mind,” Engel said.
Engel had one of the most traumatic events of her life last Thursday morning.
“I really still can’t believe it happened,” Engel added.
Engel and a friend went to the 7-Eleven on Newtown Road to get a Big Gulp. They were at the register when two masked men came in with guns, demanding money.
“The clerk said ‘you don’t have to do this’ and I heard the gunshot,” she said. “I dropped to the floor and I thought the man shot the clerk.”
Police say a fellow customer, who was legally carrying a gun, did the shooting. He killed one suspect and injured another.
“I saw the gentleman put the gun back in his holster and I was like ‘you shot the robbers,'” Engel added.
That was the last time Engel saw the man she called a hero.
“I have no idea who he is,” she said. “To me, he is the most beautiful person in the whole world.”
Monday, Engel started a Facebook fundraiser for the stranger, collecting money for possible legal bills or missed work. The community already pitched in almost $2,000.
“I know how I feel, and it is probably twice as bad for him knowing he had to shoot someone,” Engel added.
Engel wonders what the man was doing in the store at the time, where he came from and where he is now.
“We were blessed that night just knowing that he was in there,” she said.
Those are questions she hopes will get answered when she meets him face to face.
“I’m bound and determined to find this guy,” Engel added.”I just want to hug him and thank him for being in the right place at the right time while we were all in the wrong place at the wrong time.”