VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - One man is dead and another seriously wounded, after a Vallejo pawn shop was robbed late Tuesday.
It happened in the Springstown neighborhood, at the intersection of Springs Road and Rollingwood Drive.
There were three employees in the Pawn Advantage store when two masked-men burst in.
At least one of them had a gun, and people familiar with the business say the owner, a Marin man in his 50s, was shot to death on the spot.
His employee, in his 40s, is hospitalized in serious condition with gunshot wounds.
He is said to be disabled from a car accident, and uses a wheelchair.
"In the pawn industry we have a rule, if they come in, you give it to them, it's not worth your life," Chris Adam told KTVU at the scene.
Adam owns three pawn shops in the Bay Area, including one in Vallejo, and rushed to the scene of the shooting when he heard that others in his profession had been attacked.
'It's just a shame that you try to start a small business and you end up, here in the holidays, losing your life for it," he said sadly.
On the store Facebook page, photos show Pawn Advantage to be a bright, clean, organized space, boasting tools, musical instruments, and jewelry.
A woman who was working at the jewelry counter escaped the gunfire uninjured.
But a dog, the owner's family pet, was shot and killed by the assailants.
"Wow, yeah, he does have a dog in there," reacted customer Daren Brown of Benicia, who praised the store owner for going out of his way to help others.
"I came in to do some business one day and my car stopped, he was nice enough to gve me a jump and take me to the auto parts store," recalled Brown, "and I hate to see ths happen to anybody, but I know he didn't deserve this."
Two men who said they last visited the store on Monday, heard the gunshots from a fast food restaurant next door.
"I was at McDonalds and heard hella shots, so I stayed there, I didn't want to get shot or nothing,' Terell Prior told KTVU.
'Well why did somebody do it?," wondered friend Donny Smith, "was it like hate or did somebody get mad or something?"
Robbery appears to be the motive, but Vallejo Police won't say what, if anything, was stolen.
A witness at the 7-11 store across the street saw the men running away, one still holding a gun, but descriptions are vague.
"We had conflicting information, conflicting descriptions, so at this point, all I have is two males wearing dark hooded sweatshirts."
Outside the store, manager Jason Reyes waited into the evening for answers.
He wasn't present when the violence occurred.
"It's been absolutely terrible not knowing if somebody's dead or alive," shared Reyes.
The pawn business is heavy on cash, and the robbery risk is always high, which is why some stores screen customers before admitting them.
"Their store did not," clarified Chris Adam, "and I only do that at one of my stores, but I'm thinking I'll change that because I have kids and this is scary."
Surveillance video from the store and surrounding businesses will be key in the investigation.
Pawn Advantage has been open in Vallejo since 2013.
Police said a motive for the shooting has yet to be determined, but is asking for the public's help. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Scott Yates at (707) 648-4533 or Detective Terry Schillinger at (707) 648-4278