SAN CLEMENTE ( — Security cameras captured an explosive armed robbery at a cigar shop in San Clemente Tuesday night.

The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. at Inner Limits Smoke Shop on North El Camino Real.

The male suspect, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and ski mask, entered the shop, pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and demanded money from two terrified workers.

Employee Tommy Butterfield said the suspect then fired a shot into a case, which sent shards of glass everywhere.

“I was right (behind the counter) and the bullet went flying right by us. The girl who was here… it was close to her leg,” he said.

Butterfield told KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen he and his co-worker didn’t recognize the suspect or the sound of his voice.

“He was fidgeting around, like he was looking to make sure no one was coming in,” he said.

Butterfield said he handed the man nearly $2,000 out of fear for his life.

“After he got the money, he told us to get on the floor and kiss the ground,” he said.

The suspect fled the scene.

The two employees were uninjured.

Police hope the security video will help them catch the gunman.


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