South Seattle store owner brings a stick to a gunfight

SEATTLE -- The South Seattle grocery store owner who used a piece of wood to scare off a {A href=""}gun-wielding robber earlier this week said he was just trying to protect himself and his business.

Police say a masked man walked into Victory Grocery Monday at roughly 9:45 p.m. and demanded money from an employee.

As the robber was fumbling with the cash register, the store's owner, Gemere Amara, came storming out of a back room armed with a 2x4. Amara charged at the robber, who turned around and ran for the door.

"I got a stick because he had a gun," Amara said. "I just, you know, (wanted to) protect myself."

After chasing him out of the store and down the street, police say the robber fired two shots at Amara. Luckily, both missed.

The gunman then jumped into a black, four-door sedan with another man, who may have been acting as a lookout. The car sped away heading southbound on 44th Avenue South.

"We always say, do what you have to do to get out of a situation to make yourself safe. Chasing someone with a 2x4, you don't know if they are armed or not. Maybe, maybe not," said Renee Witt of the Seattle Police Department.

For his part, Amara admits the incident was scary but said he doesn't know what he could have done differently.

"That time, I don't know what I'm doing. I just (tried to) protect myself. I don't have a gun. I don't have anything, so what are you going to do?" he said.

He also said he's going to buy a gun in the near future.

The robber is described as a black man in his 20s who stands 6'2" inches tall and weighs roughly 160 pounds. Witnesses said he had a slim build, wore a camouflage jacket and a green mask.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the robbery unit at (206) 684-5535.