EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (WABC) --Police are looking for a suspect in connection to a robbery at a Brooklyn bodega, and they're hoping surveillance video will lead to an arrest.
The incident happened around just after 6 p.m. Saturday at Giselle's Grocery, located on East New York Avenue in the East New York section.
The owner of the deli says the whole thing lasted only two minutes, but it was a terrifying ordeal he will remember for the rest of his life.
Surveillance video shows the gunman casually walking into that store, acting like he was about to make a purchase. He approached the counter holding items, with a hood over his head. Then he suddenly brandished a handgun and demanded money.
"When he pulled out the gun, I see the gun so I jumped back to this corner," owner Fermin Leonardo said.
Terrifying 2 minutes at deli in East New York. Gunman takes customer hostage, fires shot, steals $400. pic.twitter.com/bM8CxUJzq2— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) March 7, 2016
He said he was the only one behind the counter at the time and that there were four other customers inside who frantically ran to the back of the store. But there was one customer who froze in a moment of panic, and the gunman took that man hostage, choking him as he waved his pistol. Then, he fired a shot.
"I was scared for my life, you know?" Leonardo said.
The 43-year-old store owner tossed money over the counter, and the suspect made off with about $400 in cash. After the incident, Leonardo said he plans to install bullet-proof glass.
"In the future, we have to do something, because this area, there's danger and danger," he said. "All the people coming from jail...it's crazy."
Leonardo, who is married with two kids, says he didn't tell his family what happened because he didn't want them to worry.
The suspect is described as a black male in his 40s with a salt and pepper beard.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
All calls are strictly confidential.