UPDATE

Children caught in crossfire in convenience store armed robbery

Posted: Updated:
Police ask the public's help in identifying this suspect believed involved in the armed robbery of an off-duty Buckeye officer who was managing a convenience store.  (Source: CBS 5 News) Police ask the public's help in identifying this suspect believed involved in the armed robbery of an off-duty Buckeye officer who was managing a convenience store. (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Phoenix police are trying to identify a man they suspect was involved in the armed robbery of an off-duty Buckeye police officer while he was managing a south Phoenix convenience store Saturday.

Surveillance cameras caught the robbery on video and shows two young children caught in the crossfire as the store owner and armed suspect exchanged gunshots.

"Why would he do that in front of us?" An 11-year-old boy asked. 

For that boy's safety, CBS 5 is not releasing his name. The robbery suspect has not been found.

"[The robbery suspect] said a bad word to give him all the money," the boy told CBS 5 News. "I just took a step back."

During the exchange, surveillance video shows the boy's younger cousin bravely take the drinks they had just bought off the counter.

No one was injured. 

Phoenix Police Sgt. James Holmes described the suspect as Hispanic, 20 to 25 years old, 5'8" to 5'9" tall, 150 to 170 pounds and wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts. Holmes said the suspect also had a goatee and mustache.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377), or 480-TESTIGO (480-837-8446).

Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said officers were called to La Esquina Market on the corner of Alta Vista Road and South Montezuma Street early Saturday afternoon to reports of gunfire.

"[The officer] was actually working the counter when he was confronted with every clerk's worst nightmare," Thompson said. "He was robbed at gunpoint. He had an armed robber come in, put a gun in his face."

Buckeye police are investigating the officer's actions and use of a firearm. On Thursday, the Buckeye Police Department said the officer had been placed on administrative leave for three days but he reported back to work on Thursday.

Thompson said Phoenix police detectives are investigating the criminal aspect of the incident.

Police are still searching for the suspected armed robber.

For more on this story and other stories around Arizona from this author, follow Shawn Kline on Facebook and Twitter. 

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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