Gentilly grocer feels fortunate after surviving weekend armed robbery

Gentilly grocer feels fortunate after surviving weekend armed robbery

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A New Orleans woman says her daughter is home sick this Halloween after an armed robbery in which hooded men threatened their lives.

Though armed robberies seemed to spike this weekend, the city's police chief says overall, they're down.

"I was surprised when I saw him with a gun," said the victim, who was hoping for a quiet Saturday morning at work in the deli of her Gentilly convenience store.

Instead, found herself faced with a gun.

"I said, 'God please take care of my daughter, I don't know what to do,'" said the San Salvador native who was one of nine armed robbery victims over the weekend.

"He went over there by my daughter, and right now she's sick because he put the gun in front of me. She thought he'd kill me," she said.

She said two gunmen walked into her store at 9:30 a.m. and ordered her to turn over all the money.

"He said, 'I count to three. If I don't get the money, I will kill you,'" she said.

They used black semi-automatic handguns to make their point.

"I tried to do everything he say," she said.

The victim emptied the cash register, turning over $250. And as the robbers counted to three, she wondered if it would be enough.

"I said, 'Please, I don't have no more money. I'm sorry I have no more money,'" she said.

Police manpower may not have been an issue. Store surveillance images showed one officer nearby and two more driving down Gentilly within two minutes of the robbery.

"Nobody came to help me. Nobody came to take care of me," she said.

The city's police chief said he doesn't know why there's an armed robbery spike.

"It's still being investigated and we're working to see if it's tied to any other armed robberies," Chief Michael Harrison said. "We're working hard at it every single day. We are now down 15 percent compared to last year. That equates to 114 fewer year to date over last year," Harrison said.

The two robbers were last seen fleeing west on Maurepas Street toward Esplanade Avenue.

Police say if you can help them make an arrest, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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