EXCLUSIVE: Bayside store customer talks about armed robbery
BAYSIDE -- The lone customer who was inside Innovative Optique during Thursday's attempted robbery and shooting, is sharing his story only with CBS 58 News. Because of the pending police investigation, he does not want to reveal his identity, but does feel the need to speak out about what he saw, its impact on the community, and to express condolences to the store employees and family of the man who was fatally shot.
\"The initial bodily reaction is shock because you're around this very violent act,\" the customer told CBS 58's Mike Strehlow Friday morning during an interview a few blocks away from the shooting scene. The longtime Milwaukee man said he was talking with the store owner about buying a new pair of glasses, when 22-year-old Joshua Drake approached the counter. \"My glasses were off. I saw a gun for a split second. He said 'Don't move! Don't move!' And then, they were in the back of the store and he said 'where is it?' He was looking for it.\" The man said it appeared Drake was after some high-end eyewear the store sells and not money.
The customer said seconds later, two more employees appeared from a back room. He could not determine whether they were armed, but he ran toward the door when he heard gunfire. \"There was one shot, then a series of shots. And by the time I hit the door, they were almost over with.\" When asked who fired the first shots, the customer said \"I had no idea. I wasn't looking in that direction. I was frozen you know.\"
Once outside the store, he saw another hooded man, and a getaway driver speed away east on Brown Deer Road. He stayed near the scene until police arrived. After providing investigators with information, he is now taking care of his own emotional needs. (I am) \"eating right, exercising...just taking care of myself and talking to people about it, you know, talking to professionals I know.\"
He is also expressing concern for those who were involved in this deadly mid-day encounter in a quiet North Shore suburb, and for the metro area as a whole. \"I just feel badly for the owner and the mother of the man who was killed. It shouldn't be like this but that's what it is. Young people can find guns, but they can't find jobs. It's pretty sad.\"