Details of armed fireworks stand robbery that turned deadly emerge
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- It was business as usual at a fireworks stand in Goodyear Wednesday night until a would-be armed robber was shot and killed.
The woman who was with him fled the scene, and police are still trying to find her.
The stand's operator is a U.S. Navy veteran and a father of five. Those close to him say he was protecting his family when he opened fire on a man who could have shot and killed him.
"She was here on the property when it happened, so she saw parts of it," said Robert Dowdy, who is a relative of a 13-year-old girl who witnessed the deadly confrontation between an armed robber and her armed father.
The fireworks stand is a family-run franchise, and it remained open the day after the shooting, as 4th of July is the busiest sales day of the year. The stand's owner told FOX 10 the father was already suspicious of the man before he entered the tent.
"So pulled his gun and set it on his leg, and watched the individual put a black hoodie on," said Karen Herrman.
"He's former military, so he's got training on how to deal with different things," said Dowdy.
According to police, 26-year old Daniel Torres of Buckeye pointed a gun at the father, and told him to give him the money. Witnesses say Torres got distracted, turning toward the daughter who was nearby, and that's when the father took action.
"He pulls to get the gun ready, the robber did turn back around, and that's when my operator shot him," said Herrman.
Police officials say a woman tried to pull the suspect into the getaway car, but she could not, so she left him and took off. Customers crowded the stand on the 4th of July, grateful the victims were alright.
"I'm just thankful we live in a state where the person was able to defend himself and his property," said Nate Kinzie, who lives in Goodyear. "It's terrible what actually happened."
The woman who fled is described by police as a Hispanic female in her 20's or 30's, and was last seen driving away in a gold Honda Accord with Arizona wheelchair plate number LAG50. Anyone with information should call Goodyear Police.