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Andy’s Ace Hardware armed robbery suspect stopped by store’s security team

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Updated: Sat 11:18 PM, Jun 17, 2017

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – A family business was hit by an attempted armed robber Saturday, in the end to no avail, in part due to a store security team member who took down the alleged criminal with two shots to the torso.

“I wish that criminals couldn’t get away with what they’re doing in our homes, in our businesses,” said Andy’s Ace Hardware owner Stephanie Van Ness. “They should be held to a punishment if they commit a crime.”

Van Ness said Andy’s Ace Hardware is a family business that’s been around for decades. She’s heard a lot of stories about crimes across town, she said, but had always hoped it wouldn’t make it into her shop. Today ended that hope.

“At first it was an average day,” Van Ness said. “Helping customers, and then we heard a loud noise, which we thought was something falling .

“But then we got out here and heard more shots that we found out later was gunfire.”

That was late Saturday afternoon, when the Anchorage Police Dept. was called to Andy’s Ace Hardware on Muldoon Road in response to reports that shots had been fired in the area. At the store, in addition to an injured suspect, they found a damaged cash register that staff members said the suspect had tried to steal money from.

Van Ness said a man, on his own, walked into Andy’s Ace Hardware that afternoon and immediately began demanding access to the cash register. When the cashier said the register couldn’t be opened without a transaction taking place, the man fired several shots into the register itself, breaking it open. The man fled but was taken down by a security guard who fired two shots that hit the man in the shoulder and torso.

“He came outside after the suspect had left the store,” said Sgt. Jeremy Conkling of the Anchorage Police Dept. “The suspect was going for what we assume was a getaway vehicle, and that’s when he was confronted and shot by security.”

The man accused of the robbery was transported to a local hospital.

Police said shortly after the shooting that the suspect’s identity, and the identity of the person driving the vehicle that fled, were not yet known.

This story is being updated. Please check back for details.

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