Robbery attempt thwarted when jeweler opened fire

An armed robbery at a Tampa, Fla., jewelry store was foiled when a store clerk opened fire, hitting one of the robbers as they fled, the Tampa Tribune reports.

The attempted robbery took place at Lee’s Jewelry store, 2525 E. Hillsboough Ave. Quoting Tampa police sources, the newspaper reports that five robbers, each clad in oversized, hooded shirts, burst into the store around noon on Friday, Dec. 6 and announced the robbery.

That’s when the unidentified employee, a relative of the owner, pulled his 9 mm handgun and opened fire, the newspaper reports. The robbers stopped in their tracks and bolted for the door without returning fire.

The robbers jumped into a gray minivan and drove away, the newspaper reports. The van was later found abandoned.

Initially, detectives thought none of the robbers was hit, but while they were at the scene, a wounded man and a friend were dropped off at a nearby fire station, the newspaper reports.

The man, with a gunshot wound to his upper body, was taken to Tampa General Hospital under guard; his wounds were not believed to be life threatening, police told the newspaper.

No one inside the store was injured. No charges will be filed against the employee, police told the newspaper.

While the wounded man, whose name was not immediately released, was on his way to the hospital, the second man was being interviewed by detectives, who weren’t sure if he was involved in the robbery, the newspaper reports.