Tampa Police examining the crime scene at Marcelo's Jewelry
Tampa, Florida - There's a welcome mat outside of Marcelo's Jewelry, but the owner got some very unwelcome visitors this morning - would be robbers with guns.
"Everyone's real worried," says storeowner Marcelo Suarez of his family and friends finding out about the robbery attempt. "My customers are really worried. They want to make sure I'm safe."
Suarez was working in the back room about 8:00 a.m. when he saw over his surveillance system what looked like an undercover cop car pull up. It had lights on the dash, so he buzzed in two men dressed like officers.
"Long sleeve, long shirt, police hat, police badge, had police gun on the side," described Suarez.
But it soon became clear to Suarez that these guys were not police, when one raises a gun. "He proceeds to point the gun at me and 'don't move'. I run into the back."
That's when the bullets start flying; the robbers shooting and Suarez returning fire through the back room wall.
"I shoot him one time, two time," Suarez points to large holes in the wall. "Then I take a knee, shot a couple more times as they ran out the store."
The robbers, four in all, didn't get away with any jewelry, but one may be carrying a bullet. And police are on the lookout for these bad guys, dressed like good guys. They're driving a blue or dark green, four-door Saturn with lights on the dashboard.
"When you're talking about a robbery, especially when there's weapons involved, of course it's very concerning," says Tampa Police spokesperson Andrea Davis. "It brings it to another level when you have someone potentially impersonating a police officer."
As for Suarez, the shootout left him shaky, but uninjured. "I have insurance for jewelry, but you don't have insurance on life, if you die - you're gone."