A BATTERED and bruised shop assistant has told of the terrifying moment a raider pointed a gun at his head and fired twice.
Vijay Saini feared for his life when the armed robber – who was wearing a skeleton mask – pulled the trigger, only for the gun to fail to fire.
A shaken Vijay, 24, said: “I’m just standing behind the counter when the man came in the shop with a gun in his hand.
“Next thing I knew he tried to shoot me two times, but the gun was not working.
“Then he jumped behind the counter and hit me on the left side of my face with the gun and my hands when I tried to cover it.
“I was blind, I’m not seeing anything and he’s asking for my colleague to give him some money.
“It was a real gun, he tried to shoot me.
“I don’t know why the gun didn’t go off. I was very lucky.”
24-year-old Vijay Saini was assaulted by the armed raider at the Premier Hollinsend Convenience Store, Nodder Road, Woodthorpe, shortly before closing time. The robber then stole the contents of the store’s till, containing a day’s takings, and fled in the direction of Woodthorpe Road in the raid, which happened on Wednesday, at about 8.40pm.
Vijay needed hospital attention for a gash on his face and bruised hands, while the shop has now banned customers from entering wearing headgear.
Fellow shop assistant Joanne Medley arrived at the store soon after the robbery.
The 41-year-old grandmother, of Widdop Close, Richmond, Sheffield, said: “I found Vijay in the back of an ambulance and my sister who works there in tears, she was absolutely terrified.
“Vijay was really shaken up. He had a flashback at the same time the robbery happened yesterday.
“My sister is thinking about not coming back to work because she is a nervous wreck. There’s always a few people in the shop now.
“You don’t expect it to happen when it’s such a friendly local store because we know everybody.”
South Yorkshire Police have recovered the handgun and issued an urgent appeal for witnesses.
The robber is described as possibly in his late teens. He was wearing a black coat and tracksuit bottoms with stripes down the side, black trainers and the mask covered in skeleton markings. He was carrying a black or dark green rucksack.
Police are now appealing for witnesses to the raid at Hollinsend Convenience Store in Woodthorpe.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident number 980 of Wednesday, January 4, or, alternatively, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.