The owner of a jewelry store in northern California thwarted an armed robbery and protected his family this week by brandishing a handgun and opening fire.
When a trio of masked robbers stormed into Plaza Jewelers in Menlo Park Monday night, armed with guns and demanding money and jewelry, store owner Alfonso Argulo was forced to act quickly, KRON-TV reported.
Surveillance video of the incident showed one of the suspects carrying a shotgun and another holding a handgun. The third appeared to be armed with a crowbar. When they entered the store, they flashed their weapons at employees and customers.
That's when Argulo retrieved his handgun and quickly fired a shot into the front door. The suspects, who obviously didn't expect to encounter any armed resistance, immediately scrambled out of the store and into a getaway vehicle.
The whole incident took just eight seconds.
In another video, showing the parking lot outside the store, the three suspects can be seen scrambling in fear for their lives to find the door handles of their gold minivan. One man had trouble getting into the left side door.
Argulo, who owns the jewelry store with his wife, Rosalba Farias, and runs security for the family business, told KTVU-TV he sprang into action to protect his family's business and the customers inside, who were forced to get on their hands and knees and take cover.
The outlet reported that Argulo has had a concealed weapons permit for about 10 years. He reportedly used the same weapon in 2013 to scare off robbers by simply pulling its slide back.
Argulo's wife, Rosaria Farias, praised her husband's bravery and quick thinking and added that she was thankful no one was injured in the attack.
"I get nervous; you need to think fast," Farias said. "The good thing is nobody got hurt."
"People are OK, the store is OK, me and my wife are OK, these are the most important things," added Argulo.
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident. So far, no arrests have been made and authorities are requesting help from the community to identify the suspects.
Detectives did say that no jewelry or money were taken from the store and that only one shot was fired. No one was injured in the incident.