Police have stepped up their efforts to catch the crooks by releasing surveillance video of the robbery.
It's a crime recorded on high quality surveillance video from start to finish. It begins around 9pm Tuesday at the Zone d'Erotica off Willowchase and the Tomball Parkway. The woman you see in the video in the aisle is off-duty HPD Officer J. Smith, who joined the department less than a year ago. Then through the front door, two robbers in masks enter, point a gun at the store clerk and go for the cash drawer.
At that point, Officer Smith runs for the door, goes to her car, possibly to get her gun to stop the two robbers, and is followed by the suspects. While in her car, a shot is fired through the driver's door, and she drives off. The robbers got the cash while shooting the clerk in the leg.
Officer Smith drives a block away to the feeder road where she is seen by another driver who calls for help. She was wounded in her shoulder.
The suspects were followed by a witness to an apartment complex where there was an extensive search, but the suspects remain at large.
"These are two dangerous individuals. They did shoot a store clerk and an off-duty police officer, so we need to get them off the street as soon as possible," said HPD's Victor Senties.
Both victims were transported to Northwest Medical Center. A clerk working Wednesday who didn't want to be identified, says the clerk is now recovering after being shot in the leg.
"He's actually OK, you know, they took him across the street and he's doing OK right now," said the other clerk.
For that clerk, he says he has had his own encounter with an armed ex-employee who tried rob him.
"It's really scary, you know, working here. Maybe it can happen again," he said.
He also told us that working in a business that is open 24 hours, you never know who will walk in.
The suspects were only described as two black men. One was wearing a baseball cap. The other suspect had his face covered with a mask. Police are hoping someone will recognize those two suspects in the surveillance video and call police.