Store owner's gun scares off robber with knife, police say

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5 2013 3:03 p.m. MST

SOUTH SALT LAKE — An attempted robbery by a knife-wielding man was thwarted by a gun-toting business owner.

About 11 a.m. Monday, a man was seen pacing in front of Tesoro Convenience Store, 12 W. 3900 South, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.

The man was crying outside the store, claiming he needed medical help, said business owner Ahmed Nazir. Nazir asked a store customer to invite the man inside and he would let him use his phone to call someone. But once the man came into the store, he allegedly pulled out a knife and demanded money out of the cash register.

"And I thought, 'Wow,'" said a surprised but calm Nazir. "I told him I'm not going to do it. And then I pulled out my gun and said, 'Just leave your knife here and leave the store.' And he left. He didn't resist or anything. ... He did not say anything. He just left his knife on the counter."

Nazir called 911 and gave a description of the man. An officer responding to the scene spotted the man at Kentucky Fried Chicken, 3890 S. State, and took him into custody without incident.

Luis Guiterrez Gonzales, 30, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated robbery. Utah state court records show Gonzales was convicted of retail theft in 2001.

Nazir said his store has been robbed before and he keeps a gun for safety.

"He would have sliced me with his knife if I didn't have something to show him," he said.

Contributing: Sandra Yi

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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