110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Mar 31, 2014 - 2:29:31pm
A DeLand resident said he was in line, buying groceries at the South DeLand Publix supermarket at about 9:50 p.m. Sunday, March 30, when a masked gunman came into the store.
"I was checking out, and I heard something right behind me," the man said. "When I turned around, there was a guy in a hoodie wearing a mask."
The mask was silver, and reminded the man of a faceless Halloween mask. The man thought it was a joke.
"I actually said to the guy, laughing, 'That isn't right,' because I thought it was an employee messing around," the man said. "I looked toward the service desk, and another guy had a gun in a woman's back."
The DeLand resident said he didn’t want his name published, for fear that the robbers would retaliate.
The man said he watched as the second intruder appeared to force the female Publix employee into the office behind the service counter. That intruder had a gun, too, the man said.
"The guy covering us kept waving the gun around telling us not to move," he said.
The masked gunman near the witness started yelling, and the other man came out of the office with a plastic bag, the DeLand resident said.
"Which I assume had money in it," the witness said. He was "holding a gun and trying to hold up his pants at the same time."
Both men ran out the door, got in a black car, and left, the man said.
The Publix employees then locked the doors and called 911, he said.
The man said he finished checking out, and a few minutes later, DeLand police arrived.
The Publix is in Southpointe Commons Shopping Center at 2410 S. Woodland Blvd.
A manager did confirm "something" happened Sunday night.
Sgt. Chris Estes of the DeLand Police Department confirmed there was a robbery, but was unable to provide more information at the time.
Publix Supermarkets corporate offices could not be reached for more information about the apparent robbery.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
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