Police say an armed man demanded cash from a pregnant clerk at a Central Falls food mart and fired a sawed-off shotgun in her direction, but was tackled by customers after his weapon fell apart and he dropped the money.
Surveillance video purports to show 41-year-old Jason Dias, of Providence, enter the Kandel Food Shop on Broad Street at 8:45 p.m. Sunday with a gun and his head covered with a T-shirt.
Owner Khurram Ahmad said there were several people in the store, but that Dias didn't seem to care.
Police said Dias pointed the gun to the clerk's head and said he would kill everyone if he didn't get the cash he wanted.
But instead of just walking out with the bag of cash, he stopped at the door, turned around and fired. The shot narrowly missed her.
"She was standing behind the counter. Luckily he shot (to the left) and she was little on the right so God saved her," Ahmad said.
When Dias tried to leave, witnesses said the door hit his shotgun and he dropped it along with the bag of money.
Two customers jumped into action and tackled Dias to the ground and held him outside the store.
"We (were) kicking, hitting and punching him to no avail. He was still trying to get up off us," said Kimathi Sutton.
Sutton showed up when Dias was already on the ground. He also jumped in to help.
"One of the guys took off his belt and wrapped (it) around his legs because when I tried to grab him, he kicked me off. So they wrapped the belt around his legs," Sutton said.
Ahmad says he's grateful and his loyal customers and are like family.
"The people, they saved the store, saved the money, saved the girl. They did a great job. They are heroes," he said.
Police said Dias, who is a convicted child molester, is being held without bail as a probation violator. He faces numerous charges including assault with a dangerous weapon.
Ahmad told NBC 10 the clerk went to the hospital after the incident and is doing OK.