WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Essam Ahmed serves dozens of customers every day.
But Monday, one interaction went much differently.
"Put everything here, I need all the money you have or I will kill you," said an attempted robber.
A man came into the AZ Patterson Grocery in Winston-Salem asking about fidget spinners. Then he asked about some of the cell phones. But then, he pulled a gun.
"I thought about my family, my wife, my son, my daughter. What they could do if that guy shot me," said Essam Ahmed, a manager of the AZ Patterson Grocery.
So many things went through Ahmed's head because he knew, with just a pull of the trigger, his life could be over.
"55 years of my life looks like a fast movie on my eyes," said Ahmed.
Ahmed admitted he was afraid, but he made up his mind, not to give up the money. He said he made the decision because at the end of the day, he has to look himself in the mirror.
"My late father taught me many times, you have to protect yourself, you have to protect others, you have to be a good guy, you have to respect yourself. If that guy had gotten the money, I don't be able to respect myself," said Ahmed.
So as the man was distracted by someone outside, Ahmed pulled out a shotgun of his own, and the man bolted. He says that decision could have cost him his life, but at least he would have known he did the right thing. Even now, he says he would do the same thing.
"Yes, because this is my mentality. This is my beliefs. If you do the right thing every day, every time, sure God would bless you," said Ahmed adamantly.
Ahmed says he had heard about several recent break-ins around Winston-Salem and considered what he'd do in a situation like this. But he admitted thinking about it and living it are two very different things.
Winston-Salem Police are still looking for the suspect in this case. If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers at (336) 727-2800.