Liquor Mart customer says thieves came in ‘screaming their heads off … You want to get stabbed?’

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police say there were at least 8 victims in violent Liquor Mart robbery' Winnipeg police say there were at least 8 victims in violent Liquor Mart robbery
Police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver speaks to media following a violent armed robbery at a Winnipeg liquor store sent an employee to hospital in critical condition – Nov 21, 2019

A man who witnessed a violent assault at a Manitoba Liquor Mart Wednesday says the perpetrators came in swinging knives and yelling.

Pat, who asked us to not use his last name, said he was in the back corner of the Tyndall Park Liquor Mart Wednesday afternoon when he heard the commotion.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Liquor Mart to close after brutal assault of employees; ‘secure’ entrance to be built

“They came in the store screaming their heads off,” Pat told 680 CJOB. “Don’t look at us. You want to get stabbed? We’re going to stab you if you look at us.

“They had knives in their hand. And they just went right to the back wall, started loading up their s—.”

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The employees refused to give the thieves money from the till saying there wasn’t any, said Pat. That’s when a female clerk behind the till was punched in the head. She dropped to the ground.

Pat said while he wasn’t hurt, he feels guilty for not helping the clerk who was assaulted.

It was awful when the female worker got hit badly. It seemed like an older male worker kind of stepped in to say, hey, knock it off. And then they went after him as well as that kind of how it went down.

“Then there’s this security guard in the store that did absolutely nothing. You know, I don’t know what his job is or what his responsibilities are. You know, he’s not a cop.”

I didn’t sleep all that well.

Once the thieves left, the store was put into lockdown, said Pat, and when he later walked through the mall the Liquor Mart is attached to, discovered the thieves didn’t stop at the liquor store.

“They raised the ruckus through the whole mall,” said Pat.

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“I believe somebody actually got one of them and held them down … and the police actually took one of them into custody in the mall.”

Teen thief

Const. Rob Carver confirmed Thursday the rampage continued after the initial liquor mart theft.

He said police were called to the scene at 3:45 p.m. and said the male, dubbed Suspect No. 1, assaulted the female clerks and became “enraged with the staff.”

After the suspects fled the store, the same male tried to rob another store in the mall but didn’t get anything, but did assault the employee in the store.

A woman who works in the mall told Global News one of the suspects hit her in the face when he approached her in the mall and demanded money from her and two friends inside a store.

READ MORE: Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries says there’s no ‘magic bullet’ to stop liquor thefts

“He was very aggressive, very aggressive,” she said, asking not to be named. “He was running here and there, looking for money. And I think because he did not find the money … I became the target.”

She said at the time she was more shocked than scared, and worried for her friends.

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Suspect No. 1 then left the mall and tried to carjack a woman’s car, but she refused.

So he walked away and tried to rob two women of their purses, said Carver, threatening them with liquor bottles.

“I want you to understand, these two women were cowering on the ground in front of the suspect.”

At that point, bystanders intervened and were able to hold the suspect, who faces numerous assault, robbery, and uttering threats charges. He is in custody.

Carver confirmed Suspect No. 1 is 15-years-old. The other two suspects are at large. Carver said “hundreds have been arrested over the last number of months.”

“A minimum of eight victims who were affected by this,” said Carver. “It is traumatizing, it will be a trauma for a long time.”

The girl who was punched suffered seizures after being hurt and was taken away by ambulance.

The girl’s mother confirmed her daughter was taken to hospital.

In a post on Facebook, Monica Tapp said her daughter was knocked unconscious by the assault and is resting.

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“It’s not going to stop me from buying my bottle of whiskey, but something’s got to be done,” said Pat. “I just can’t believe it’s taken this long for somebody to get hurt.”

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