A masked gunman attempted to rob a Valero gas station in Oakland Park, shot the owner and left without any cash, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.
"He ran straight in, and with a gun, he cocked in or whatever, and they froze, and I guess he was screaming 'Get the money,' because the money was on the floor," said Julio Tello, the victim's son.
Tello said his mother was counting cash at the register and closing up for the night at the family-owned gas station at 1251 NE 25th St. just before 8 p.m. Sunday, when the would-be robber threatened his parents at gunpoint.
"He smacked my dad, and my dad pushed him, wrestled him a little bit, and he just shot him," Tello said. Julio Tello said he believes that his father, 60-year-old Ubaldo Tello was trying to protect his wife, who rushed to her husband's side and called 911. The gunman fled.
"We can't believe it. This is a very good neighborhood and we're just all in shock. And not only that he is such a hardworking man, and struggling to keep his business open," said customer Ana Rodriguez.
The Valero gas station was left with shattered glass and deputies continue to investigate.
Reynold Grattagliano, a frequent customer, said he purchased candy at the convenience store earlier in the day. The female store owner had pointed out the damage on the door of the store and explained there had been a break-in attempt earlier in the week, he said.
“The husband is a wonderful guy,” Grattagliano said.
"My dad's here every day at 6:30 and works his butt off all day long," said Julio Tello. "How do you do that? Imagine somebody did that to his dad or mom ... that's crazy."
Authorities continue to search for the would-be robber. A description of his vehicle has not yet been released.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS(8477).
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