'I thought I was going to die,' woman says after Western Union robbery in Miami

Robber holds gun to woman's head, slaps her during Friday morning robbery

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Terrell Forney - Reporter

MIAMI - An employee at a Western Union in Miami said she thought she was going to die after she was attacked by an armed robber in an incident that was caught on surveillance video.

Joanne Pierre said she was working inside the Northwest Second Avenue store Friday morning when a man dressed all in black jumped an outside counter and crawled through a gap between the wall and the ceiling.

"He said, 'Where's the money? Give me the money,'" Pierre told Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney in a telephone interview. "I tell him, 'The money is right there.'"

Surveillance video shows the robber pointing a gun at Pierre's head. Pierre said she obeyed the gunman's commands but was still slapped by him.

"I thought I was going to die that day," Pierre said.

There are now eight new surveillance cameras and panic buttons in place throughout the business.

Miami police are searching for the gunman and his accomplice, who waited in the lobby, locked the doors and acted as a lookout during the robbery.

"I'm doing OK," Pierre said. "I have a son. I have to be strong for him."

Police said the crooks were seen getting away in a newer model car, possibly a Lexus, with dark-tinted windows. 

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