Jewelry store employee shoots 2 would-be thieves at South Florida mall, police say

Jewelry store employee shoots 2 would-be thieves at South Florida mall, police say
A jewelry store employee at a South Florida mall opened fire when two men smashed glass cases at the store Friday afternoon. (Photo-Mix/Pixabay)

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. — A jewelry store employee in a South Florida mall shot two men who were attempting to rob the store, authorities said Friday.

According to the Pembroke Pines Police Department, the men entered the Elite Fine Jewelry store in the Pembroke Lakes Mall at 2:14 p.m., the Sun-Sentinel reported.

One man smashed glass display cases while the other took jewelry from the broken glass, Pembroke Pines police said in a news release

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A store employee then pulled out a concealed firearm and shot both of the suspects, WPLG reported. The men were taken to a nearby hospital.

The store employee and the two men who were attempting the robbery were not identified by police, the Sun-Sentinel reported. it also was not clear whether the men were armed, or how badly they were hurt, the newspaper reported. No Pembroke Pines officers were involved in the shooting, the police department said in its news release.

Many stores in the west end of the mall were closed down shortly after the shooting, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Many witnesses heard the shots.

“Yeah, we heard it. It was definitely in front of our store,” Devin Lewis, who works at Jimmy Jazz in the mall, told WSVN. “It was at a jewelry store a couple stores down from ours.”

A woman working at another store told WPLG that people fled when they heard the shots.

“All of a sudden we just heard a loud bang ... it sounded like the roof fell,” Hannah Francis, who works at the Shoe Show, told the television station. “And then all of a sudden we heard like four shots and everybody just started running.

“It’s honestly traumatizing. Even though you didn’t see anything, just hearing it and knowing that somebody got hurt, regardless of whatever happened, it’s just scary.”