VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — One person is dead and another is hurt following a robbery and shooting Thursday morning at a 7-Eleven in Virginia Beach.
Police said officers were called to the 7-Eleven store at 130 S. Newtown Road just after 2 a.m.
One person was dead at the scene, while the other was transported to a local hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.
Two people who were inside the store told 10 On Your Side two young men wearing hoodies and bandanas covering their faces walked inside the store. They had what looked like real guns and told everyone to freeze.
“I just couldn’t believe it was happening,” said Barrie Engel, who was at the register at the time. “They told us not to move and they told us to stay where we were.”
The witnesses said one of the suspects went behind the counter and started taking money out of the register. The clerk reportedly told the suspects they didn’t have to do this — and that’s when the witnesses said they heard gunshots.
“I heard a gunshot, and as soon as I heard the gunshot I just fell to my knees, held my head and prayed to God that I wasn’t going to be the next shot,” Engel added.
The gunfire didn’t come from the robbers. Police confirmed a customer who legally had a gun confronted the suspects. He killed one suspect and injured another.
One of the witnesses said the customer who shot the two was heard saying, “No one points a gun at me and gets away with it.”
Another customer wanted to get the weapon out of the would-be robber’s hands.
“I went to get the other gun, pulled the magazine and realized it was a fake,” said Hugh Sisson. “It had a CO2 cartridge instead of a magazine.”
An officer tracked down a third person not far from the 7-Eleven and took him into custody. Charges are pending.
The Virginia Beach incident was the fourth 7-Eleven police say the robbers hit in just a matter of hours.
Police say they first stuck the store on Pacific Avenue at the Oceanfront before moving to Norfolk and taking money from stores on Chesapeake Boulevard and Virginia Beach Boulevard. The Newtown heist would be their last.
Engel isn’t sure she’ll come back that 7-Eleven, but she’s is sure glad the man she calls a hero did what he did.
“Thank God he was in here and thank God he was holding a gun,” Engel said. “He saved our lives.”