Robber gets cash, still shoots

A shopowner shot in an armed robbery has told how the gunman pointed a weapon at his head and demanded cash.

Stephen Govinda confronted the robber after he heard his wife, Sumintra, scream in pain when the offender burst into their Glendene takeaway on Tuesday night and shot her under the arm.

Said Mrs Govinda last night: "He came in, made a bit of a movement and grabbed me around my neck.

"I screamed and screamed, then he shot me."

Her husband, waiting at the back of the shop, initially thought she had spilled hot oil on herself. He ran along the hallway towards her when he saw the intruder, armed with a slug gun.

"Then he pointed the gun at my head and said, 'F***ing give me the cash'," Mr Govinda said. The man had turned the weapon on its side and was pointing it directly at Mr Govinda's temple.

"I said, 'Just calm down, just calm down, mate, it'll be okay. You don't have to do this.' After that, he said, 'Just f***ing give me the money.'

"So I opened the till, trying to give him the money, but he said he wanted the whole till.

"The gun was still pointed towards me. There was maybe four hundred, five hundred bucks in there, but I just grabbed the till and put it in his bag. I thought that was it."

But even after getting all their cash, the man still shot Mr Govinda.

"He lowered it for a second and I got my arm up and he shot it." He had a raw mark on his arm last night.

"That's the thing, he had what he wanted - he had the money - but he still shot me."

The gunman ran from the shop, down Great North Rd, but Mr Govinda and some customers chased him. One managed to trip the robber up, just as a police car was driving past.

A 21-year-old was arrested and appeared in the Waitakere District Court yesterday. He was charged with aggravated robbery, using an air pistol to commit an aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The Govindas are still scared. That night, Mrs Govinda woke screaming and has been prescribed sleeping pills. "Every time I close my eyes, I see him coming towards me. I just think what could have happened."

The couple weren't badly hurt - she has big bruises under her right arm where she was shot and he has a sore mark on his left forearm.

Mrs Govinda is too scared to be left alone in the shop. Her husband has had to take time off from his main source of income, taxi-driving.

"We don't know what to do," he said. "She doesn't feel safe ... and I'm distracted.

We're trying to look on the good side

... But we keep thinking: what if [the gun] was real?"

- Amelia Wade of the NZ Herald

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