Sandy Maniphonh pulls gun on armed robber at The Asian World Market

10:40 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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By Art Holliday

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A Cherokee Street shopkeeper fought back against an armed robber Wednesday morning.

Sandy Maniphonh has been shopkeeper at The Asian World Market for 21 years. It's a great place to pick up snacks and candy, but it's bad news if you decide to commit a robbery.

It had been 15 years since it was last robbed, until Wednesday around 9 a.m.

"He say put money in the bag. After that I say, 'Okay, okay. I give it to you.' I move back, and I grab the gun and I point to him and say 'I give it to you,'" said Maniphonh.

Security video shows a man wearing a hoodie and a mask pull a gun and demand money. But then Maniphonh pulled a gun on the gunman.

But there was just one problem.

"I no shot him yet because my gun is locked," said Maniphonh.

She says the gunman ran out of the store, got up to the corner, turned and fired a couple of shots at her. What we don't know is whether one of those bullets went through the window of a local photography shop.

"I heard a gunshot and heard a bang in the glass," said Aaron Hawes.

A block and a half away Hawes Photography got a brand new bullet hole above the front door.

"I heard something bouncing around inside the studio," said Hawes. "Obviously it's pretty easy to see. You can see exactly where the bullet came through up there."

Hours later, a friend told him to go to the Riverfront Times' website, and that's when he realized his bullet hole might be connected to the robbery up the street.

"There was a very, very strong possibility, almost to the point where I can't imagine it being anything else," said Hawes.

So the next time you drop into The Asian World Market for some snacks, leave your hoodie and mask at the door. And don't mess with Maniphonh.

"I no scared. I don't fear nothing. I have to protect myself," she said.

Maniphonh says the reason the gun was locked is because that morning she put it in her belt and was afraid she might accidentally shoot herself.

The gunman is still on the loose. Fortunately, he didn't open fire in the store. 


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