This is the terrifying moment a masked figure robbed a female Hartlepool shopkeeper at gunpoint.
Piramila Khristian, 34, was working alone in Lifestyle Express on Rossmere Way, Hartlepool, on Sunday afternoon when the armed man entered and pulled out what looked like a handgun before pointing it towards her head.
At least two children were inside the convenience store at the time the robber struck.
Piramila’s husband Gabrial Khristian today told of his fear for his wife when she rang him and told him what had happened.
Gabrial, 34, said: “It’s a very horrible incident. My wife has given me a ring after it happened.
“She said someone bring a gun in and robbed the shop.
“I was scared. The first thing I thought is ‘what’s happened with my wife’ never mind the money.
“I have had the shop 10 years and this is the first time we have had this experience.”
Gabrial praised the actions of Piramila for staying calm during the robbery and also the quick response of the police.
She dropped a handful of bank notes on the floor which the robber picked up before running out of the shop.
Gabrial said: “He shouted [to my wife] ‘take all the money out the till’.
“My wife thought quickly and didn’t give him all the money, she just gave him £100.
“If he came behind the counter he would have taken all of the money that’s why my wife put the money on the floor.
“The police acted very fast.”
Piramila has not felt up to returning to work since the frightening incident.
Gabrial added: “She is still a little bit scared.”
CCTV footage of the robbery shows how two children were in the shop when the robber came in.
Another boy enters the shop and crosses paths with the robber just as the man ran out.
It happened at about 4.15pm on Sunday, December 10. In all the incident lasted about 30 seconds.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “We were called to a report of an alleged robbery at 4.30pm on Sunday at Lifestyle Express, on Rossmere Way.
“An 18-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with the alleged robbery.”
A man was released yesterday by police under investigation while inquiries continue.