Clerk wounded after bandit opens fire in Little Caesars

EL CERRITO, Calif. (KTVU and wires) – A woman in her twenties shot while working at a Little Caesar's restaurant in El Cerrito is back home from the hospital.

She's expected to recover after surviving a brazen armed robbery Monday night.

Police are now searching for three men involved in the crime. They've released surveillance video that captured the robbery on camera.

El Cerrito police Lt. Robert De La Campa said there are at least six cameras pointed toward the counter of the Little Caesar's restaurant at San Pablo and Potrero avenues.

Police showed video of the crime from two of the cameras, hoping someone would recognize the two robbers and the distinctive firearm used in the crime.

The robbery happened around 8:20 p.m. Monday. The surveillance video shows two men walking into the restaurant; their faces are hidden from view by either a mask or the hooded sweatshirts they were wearing.

Police said they also had latex gloves covering their hands.

Seconds into the video, one of the men points his gun at the woman behind the cash register.

"She was doing everything they told her to do," explained El Cerrito Police Officer Sid Hubbs, as he played the video.

The man with the gun shot the clerk anyway. The bullet struck her in the arm.

The surveillance video has no sound, but at the moment of the shooting, you can see two terrified customers in the background flinch, turn away and hug one another.

As the clerk was bleeding, the two suspects forced her to open the shop's safe, according to police.

In the video, you see one of the men hop the counter and run away. Police said a third man was waiting outside the store, acting as a look-out.

While the cameras don't show the robbers' faces, the weapon used in the crime is clearly visible in the video.

"It looks to be sort of a break-action pistol, like possibly a shortened, 4-10 shotgun," Hubbs said.

The gun caught investigators' eyes, because it's not the type of gun they usually see in armed robberies.

"I don't think I've ever seen one on the street," Hubbs said.

"If somebody has seen that weapon in the possession of somebody they know. It's not a very common weapon, so if someone has seen it, they might be able to help us solve the crime of who's done his," said El Cerrito Police Lt. Robert De La Campa.

Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after the robbery, the pizza shop was open for business again.

"I was really shocked to see something like this, because there's a lot of business coming through," said a man who works nearby, who only wanted to be identified as "Don."

He pointed out there are multiple surveillance cameras in the shopping center and wondered why security cameras in the area and inside the pizza shop didn't deter the criminals.

The clerk who was shot was released from the hospital Tuesday morning.

The owner of the Little Caesar's declined to comment, but did tell KTVU that his employee's medical bills would be covered through a workers compensation claim.