CANTON, MI (WXYZ) -
Carol Nowaczyk and Gerry Soubly were the only customers inside the new Verizon store in Canton when three men armed with AK-47s shot their way inside.
It occurred around 11 a.m. Monday on busy Ford Road.
A salesman and the couple first noticed the armed men outside when they ran around the front of the store that is mostly windows.
That's when a salesman yelled for someone to call 911 and he rushed to lock the second glass sliding door in hopes of keeping the armed men outside.
"They literally could have shot right through the door and killed him," said Soubly.
Moments after the salesman took cover with the others, the armed men opened fire.
"They tried to kick the glass out. That didn't work, They took the AK-47 and banged on the glass. That didn't work, so then they shot out the glass," said
At that moment, Nowaczyk and Soubly feared their heart problems or a bullet would kill them.
Nowaczyk has had multiple open heart surgeries and Soubly had a quadruple bypass.
I thought it was the end, I really did," said Soubly.
The armed intruders fired bullets into some of the glass cases to shatter the glass and grabs handfuls of cell phones.
They then fled down the street and jumped into a getaway car.
The armed trio is suspected of being involved in other holdups in Westland, Garden City and other communities. And they probably thought they were going to be able to make a clean getaway in Canton.
But Canton Police were hot on their trail as the robbers tried to flee in a silver Neon.
A Canton Police officer used the PIT maneuver - a pursuit tactic by which a police officer forces a fleeing vehicle to turn sideways and lose control - to force the robbers to bail out and run on foot.
Officers took off after them and followed the men into a homeowner's storm cellar where they tried to hide.
We're told the three men refused to come out until officers threatened to send their police dog in after them.
All three are being held by Canton Police and could be arraigned as early as Tuesday.
Like Us. We Like You.
Get local stories delivered directly to your newsfeed.