MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man may have gotten more than he bargained for after trying to rob a smoke shop Saturday night in south Minneapolis.

Fouad Elharfaoui owns USA Smoke Shop near Hiawatha Avenue and 46th Street. He says the robbery happened just before closing.

“Two guys walked in with a gun and tried to rob [my employee], but he has a concealed weapon and he pulled it out and tried to defend himself,” Elharfaoui said. “The guys took off, he chased them.”

According to Elharfaoui, his employee fired at the robbers’ car as they drove away, and hit the man in the passenger seat. Minutes later, a barely-conscious man stumbled into the Super USA convenience store at 38th Street and Minnehaha Avenue, a little more than a mile from USA Smoke Shop. Mohamed Kassab was working at Super USA that evening.

Police encounter the shooting victim inside Super USA on 38th & Hiawatha (credit: CBS)

“We called the police for him to get help, you know. He’s bleeding. It’s very crazy, scary, you know?” Kassab said.

Police say the man was likely shot, and that he also matched the description of a suspect in a robbery a few minutes earlier. He was treated at a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Elharfaoui feels his employee did the right thing. The robbers only got away with some cigarette cartons.

“I wasn’t worried at all about the store or the products or the money,” Elharfaoui said. “I was worried about my friend, you know. But when I heard he’s safe, that gave me a lot of relief, you know.”

Elharfaoui says his store’s in a great neighborhood, but it was looted during the riots, and now he must cope with this situation.

He also says he disagrees with the Minneapolis City Council’s plan to dismantle the city’s police department.

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