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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Gunmen rob Halawa store

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

A video store owner suffered minor injuries yesterday when he struggled with an armed robber whose companion fired shots into the air.

Police officers look for bullet shells in a grassy area of Stadium Mall, where two gunmen robbed a video store yesterday.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Police said the robbery occurred at about 8:45 a.m. at Alpha Video at Stadium Mall, 4510 Salt Lake Blvd., when two robbers stole a bag of cash from the store owner and fled.

The owner, 35, chased the robbers, grabbed the slower one and struggled with him near the mall's Salt Lake Boulevard entrance. The second robber pulled a gun and fired shots into the air, police said.

"I was trying to help the guy," said Jesus Uganiza, 25, a Goodyear Auto Service Center employee, who saw the robbers run past the auto shop. "I ran to chase the guys, too. But all of a sudden, I heard my friend yell, 'Gun!' Then I ran back."

Uganiza said he and several other Goodyear employees threw rocks at one of the fleeing robbers but missed.

"I wasn't scared at first," Uganiza said. "After I heard the gunshot, I got really scared. But the owner kept going, so we had to do something about it."

Fred Schulz, 41, of 'Aiea said he saw the gunman open fire as the owner struggled with the other robber.

"He was shooting in the air," Schulz said. "The guy with the gun could have killed him."

After the shots were fired, the owner backed off and the robbers jumped into a red Ford Explorer driven by a third man and fled toward Kalihi.

The owner suffered scrapes and bruises. Police, who are investigating the holdup as a first-degree robbery, did not say how much money was taken.