ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two weeks ago, armed robbers walked into a family-owned Albuquerque convenience store around closing time. They took what they could, and before leaving, one of the suspects fires off a shot just inches from the clerk’s head. Employees at the store said the entire ordeal was traumatizing.
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The Country Club Market in downtown is a place where many locals go weekly if not daily. “It is just crazy that happened somewhere I shop at,” Karlo Marquez said.
Two weeks ago, just a few minutes before closing, two men entered the store armed with guns. One man wearing a blue ski mask backs the owner away from the register toward the back of the store while the second man in black holds the cashier at gunpoint with her hands up. “I mean you can see her reaction,” regular Alex Price said. “She is appalled. It is kind of sad.”
The man in black begins to take money from the register, only making out with less than a hundred bucks. Then, a customer who’d been in the store the whole time sprints out. That witness said the front windshield of his car was shot through, and he is struggling with PTSD from the incident. “I have kids, so I knew I had to make sure I survived this incident,” the witness said. “I try not to think about what could have happened to me because it is quite traumatizing.”
According to the police report, the cashier said she tried to call the police, but when the suspect saw her pick up the phone, he shot the security monitor just inches from her head. They also kicked some of the glass cases in the store. “Especially as an Albuquerque native, we should be helping each other out instead of trying to rob and hurt each other,” Price said. “To see crime happening to a small business isn’t right.”
The burglars finally left. The cashier dropped to the floor and the owner came back out. “It kind of breaks my heart, especially since I know these people pretty well,” Price said.
This store has been run by the same family for 40 years. The owner said the cashier lost her hearing for a week after the incident. The store said shoplifting is an ongoing issue, and this isn’t the first time people have pulled guns on them. So far, no one has been arrested in this latest case, but Albuquerque Police Department said they will follow up on any leads.