Shoppers, employees shaken after armed robbery at Family Dollar in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Two employees at a Greensboro Family Dollar were confronted by a masked man on Tuesday night, who pointed a gun at them and demanded money.

Both women are OK, but the encounter on West Vandalia Road has shaken them and some of their shoppers.

There were at least three commercial robberies in city limits on Tuesday and one on Wednesday morning.

Greensboro police say right now that they don't believe any of them are connected.

"We see a guy coming from the alley on the side of our building. By the time he got past the ice machine, we noticed he had a face mask on and a gun," said Ohaji Smith, a Family Dollar employee.

Smith and her coworker jumped into action while an unknown man demanded money from the workers.

"[The other employee] was the one getting money from the registers. So I just am propped up by the window, basically just writing down a description of him," Smith said.

The two women wanted to protect themselves.

"We really wanted to jump him and knock that gun outta him," Smith said.

But they realized their customers, right outside the doors, were at risk.

"I was at the door. Pretty much stopping them. Like you all can't come in right now. We're being robbed," Smith said. "A guy then called the police."

She says as soon as the suspect walked out the door with the cash, he spotted a woman on the phone in her car.

"I just hoped he won't shoot at this lady. I hope she cooperates and gives him her car," Smith said. "It's not that deep to lose your life over. She did cooperate."

The news was surprising for some shoppers like Helen Corpening, who come to the store frequently.

"I've been safe coming here. I never thought anything would happen here," Corpening said. "My first thought was I don't want to come in there today. But as I think about it, I don't know if it would be safe or if they'll do it again."

She knows she can be a victim at any time.

Corpening says wherever she goes, she stays aware of what's going on around her.

"I watch my surroundings and also try to stay in the light, stay around people," Corpening said. "I also pray before I leave the house and ask God for my protection."

Greensboro police tell FOX8 they are reviewing surveillance footage from the incident but are not releasing it just yet.

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