CONROE, Texas - The search is on for 3 armed robbers after they hit up Jeff's Jewelry store in Conroe, while customers were inside. A fourth suspect was killed in a shoot-out with store employees.
Police say that around 12:30 p.m. Monday, four suspects entered the store and demanded money, jewelry and purses and a shootout started between the suspects and three store employees. Several customers were inside the store when the shootout began.
"They were trying to take a purse off an elderly woman and trying to demand her purse when the shooting basically began," said Lt. Dorcy McGinnins with Conroe Police.
"They came out guns blazing," said Lisa Havens, a customer who was inside when it all happened. "I just heard them yelling and we all hit the floor."
It was hard for anyone to get a good look at the bad guys. They were all wearing hoods, covering some of their faces. The one thing customers told KHOU they remember was the sheer number of shots.
"He said give me your bag, and I said no!" said Pat Warner, another customer. "He looked like a ninja, he was all dressed in black with a hood."
Police say there were four bad guys. One of them fired first when they saw a store employee had a gun.
"The guns they were firing and firing, over and over and over, it was horrible," said Havens.
Gunfire went back and forth. We're told one employee had an AK-47. Ultimately, one robber was killed, the three others ran and ditched a white Dodge Charger that investigators are now combing for evidence.
"God was with us today, he had his arms around everybody that was in there today," said Warner.
This isn't the first time Jeff's Jewelry was hit. Back in 2014, a group of armed robbers barged in, but were scared off when they realized an employee had a gun.
This time, customers are glad the owner was prepared.
"I'm just thankful we're all ok, and he's ok because he really stood up for everybody," said Havens.
The whole thing was captured on surveillance video. Police say they are reviewing the tapes and following up on several leads.