BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A brave shop owner lived to tell his story after fighting off armed gunmen.
The owner of Southwest Jewelry and Coin says he was about to close for the day with his wife when the nightmare began.
The owner says three gunmen entered the store shouting and demanding that everyone to get down on the ground.
"I was firing at them, while they were firing at me, and they hit right here, which was probably about six inches from my head," said owner Douglas Jarvi.
It was a battle for his life. Douglas Jarvi says Thursday was a quiet day, until the unthinkable happened.
"We heard some loud shouting as three men came through our front door. One brandishing a gun and he told everybody to hit the floor," said Jarvi.
Surveillance video shows a young couple fall to the ground with their small baby, trying to give in to the robbers' demands.
"It was just a gut reaction. I didn't hit the floor. I ran to the back of my shop and typically I had a pistol that I carry and I brought the pistol out," said Jarvi.
Jarvi says one of the suspects discovered his pistol and lunged towards him.
"One of the guys that had entered, jumped the counter and I looked up, and he was right on top of me, and I pointed my gun and I pulled the trigger," said Jarvi.
Jarvi says him and his wife have been in business for over 20 years, and nothing this frightening has ever happened.
"We've never been held at gunpoint before. We were burglarized a few months ago. This is the first time at gun point," said Jarvi.
Despite Jarvi's display of bravery, this shop owner admits things could have turned out much worse.
"I was scared. I was scared for my life. I just had a life or death struggle back there and you know it really could have gone either way," said Jarvi.
Police are still searching for the three men who robbed the store.
It's still unclear if any of the suspects were shot, but Jarvi said he had one of the suspect's blood on his t-shirt.
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