Bronx jeweler fights back against robbers

February 16, 2011 8:30:04 PM PST
A Bronx jewelry store owner took matters into his own hands when three people attempted to rob his store.

Anthony Spinelli was not going to be a victim.

When two armed robbers walked into his Arthur Avenue jewelry store Wednesday afternoon, he gave them a lot more than they asked for.

Spinelli returned to his jewelry store to put his gold back in the same safe that armed robbers tried to break into just hours ago.

"I'm fine and I can't wait to get home," Spinelli said.

The 49-year-old store owner was still visibly shaking after a frightening episode at his store Wednesday afternoon.

Police say two robbers held a gun to his head and told him to open the safe.

But instead of giving in to their demands, Spinelli got his own handgun and opened fire.

"He was saying chill, chill, chill, not to shoot him, but he opened fire, shot him twice in the legs," an unidentified eyewitness said.

The well-dressed man and woman who came in to rob the store got away, but the 43-year-old suspected lookout was shot in the leg when Spinelli chased the suspects out of his store and on to Arthur Avenue.

Luckily, no bystanders were hurt.

"Nobody wants to be in that position, (and are you ok?); I'm fine, thank you," Spinelli said.

Police roped off a nearby Mercedes with Wisconsin plates and towed it away.

Many neighboring store owners hailed Spinelli as a hero, for defending himself against the people who wanted to rob his business.

"Self defense, you've got to do what you've got to do, I would do the same thing," said Den Deva, an eyewitness.

The wounded suspect is in custody, police are still searching for the other two.

Spinelli's gun was licensed and he is not expected to be charged.