Bullet hits employee’s watch during jewelry store robbery: ‘Maybe God was looking after him’

AKRON, Ohio -- It took less than fifteen seconds. Three men stormed into an Akron jewelry store, shot an employee and got away with expensive watches.

Surveillance cameras captured the moment three men burst into Sam's Jewelry Emporium on East Exchange Street in Akron just before 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

One man was waving a gun, another broke the front case with an ax.

They stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of high-end Swiss watches before the gunman fired a shot and they ran out of the store twelve seconds later.

"They just came in out of the blue and left," explained a woman during a call to 911.

"My uncle fell to the floor and was yelling for help. We just waited another ten or fifteen seconds until pretty much, we couldn't hear any voice or noises, so we went to take care of my uncle and he had a big gash in his forearm," said employee, Eduardo Escudero.

Escudero's uncle, who also works at the jewelry store, had been shot as he walked out of a back room to see what was going on.

"I don't know if he thought my uncle had a gun, but he just ended up just randomly shooting at him and then my uncle ended up getting shot," he said.

His uncle was shot in the forearm and bicep. He said it might have been worse, but the bullet first destroyed the watch his uncle was wearing before it injured him.

"Maybe God was looking after him; if it didn't hit the watch, who knows if it would've hit anything else or, you know, how big of damage it would have done to his hand," he said.

The armed robbers had their faces covered, but Akron police hope someone can recognize something about them and turn them in.

"We never in a million years thought that someone was gonna come in and either hurt someone or rob us at any point," said Escudero.

Escudero's uncle had surgery on his arm Friday morning. His nephew said the injury is not life-threatening.

The manager said that Sam's Jewelry Emporium has been in business since 1972, and this is the first time it has been robbed at gunpoint.