In a dramatic surveillance video, the owner of a local smoke shop appears to defend himself with a sharp object from three would-be thieves – identified only as juveniles – after one of them jumped the counter.
The incident happened at the Smokestorm Smoke Shop near the 4500 block of West Sahara Avenue on Wednesday around 3:30 p.m.
“At first I thought they were normal customers and then I realized they had like ski masks on,” said Johnny Nguyen, owner of Smokestrom Smoke Shop. “I had to assume they had a firearm so I just wanted to make sure I could protect myself.”
The video shows two young men wearing ski masks over their faces. Nguyen asks them why they’re wearing those masks, but they brush him off.
“I asked them first nicely to leave but the guy took my tip jar, which was fine,” Nguyen said. “When they came back and tried to take some more, that’s when it escalated.”
One of the juveniles is seen grabbing what appears to be a mug off the counter by the cash register and walking toward the door. Nguyen is heard telling the juvenile that he could take it but to please “leave the coins.”
The juvenile is seen reaching over the case and grabbing something else, turning, and running out the door.
The other juvenile is seen jumping over the glass case, at which point Nguyen, who can be seen in the video grabbing a sharp object from next to the register, runs at him and apparently stabs him at least seven times.
“Stop, please! I’m dead! I’m dead,” the would-be robber said as he collapsed to the ground.
“I remember him saying, ‘Please don’t let me die,’” Nguyen said. “He said he was sorry. By that point, he took off his mask himself. I was trying to get on the phone with the police when he was trying to talk to me. I just ran and wanted to make sure the police and ambulance would get here on time.”
Nguyen said police told him the robber was 17 years old.
You can watch the video below (WARNING: The video is graphic and viewer discretion is advised):
Nguyen, who turns 23 on Saturday, said he is thankful that he survived the ordeal. He said the incident left him “shook” and he plans to look into arming himself with other weapons for protection.
“Small business owners like us, this is our livelihood,” Nguyen told The Post. “Not only are they threatening our lives, but our livelihood, so we have to stay vigilant.”
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said two juveniles were arrested, and one more is still outstanding.
They did not say how badly the robber who was stabbed was hurt.