by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
DULUTH, Ga. - Gwinnett County police need help catching a robber who attacked a store clerk with a knife.
Police said on Monday the robber posed as a customer, browsed and tried on clothes at Fresh 2 Def on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. Next, police said, he committed a violent attack.
Store owner Michelle Coffey called it five minutes of horror.
“My life, my family, my children, my husband just flashed, the life just left my body,” Coffey told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
She said the attacker jumped her employee, holding a serrated blade to her throat.
"He had the knife on her the whole entire time," Coffey said.
Police shared surveillance video of the attack in hope someone will recognize the attacker. They said he could be as young as 15.
Coffey said the sneak attack happened after she stepped to the back of the store. She said he hustled her clerk to the back of the store and wanted Coffey to tie her up.
But Coffey felt that would make them even more vulnerable, so she began to reason with him instead.
"I was like, ‘Please just take the money. I won’t try anything. You can take everything. Just please don't hurt her,’" she said.
She said she came back out front and grabbed the cash from the register. Meanwhile, customers began showing up and his plan unraveled. The robber ran out with nothing, but police said he left clues behind.
“The victim had no bruises or injuries, so we believe that the blood was from the suspect,” Gwinnett County police Detective Deon Washington said.
Washington said you can’t hide from your own DNA. But first, Washington needs someone who recognizes the attacker to identify him.
Gwinnett County police said the assailant may be young and inexperienced, but that doesn't make him any less dangerous.
If you have information on the robber, call the Gwinnett County robbery unit at 770-513-5300.