ELYRIA, Ohio - Surveillance cameras were rolling as the owner of a carry-out in Elyria faced a life and death struggle, when a would-be robber tried to force his way into the store Monday morning.
The man eventually succeeded in getting through the door in the drive-thru, but the owner had a surprise for him, a gun she carries in her hip pocket.
She tells Fox 8 "I reacted as fast as I could, trying to put a barrier between him and I saw him breaking through that door and I shot him."
Once the tables have been turned on the bandit, he ran away.
The owner does not want to to be identified but says her store had been held up earlier this month, and she was acting on instinct when she fired at the suspect.
She says "it was 'you're not getting me, this ain't happening to me again, I'm not going to allow you to take this from me' and basically it was survival, I was trying not to get killed."
Customers who ask about the shattered glass in the door, are learning how the owner defended her business. The regulars are now calling her Annie "get your gun" Oakley.
A customer named Mary says "I think she should have shot him because if he got in, he could have shot and killed her so that was really self defense."
The owner says she decided to get a permit to carry the gun after the June 2008 murder of a clerk at a gas station in Elyria. In that case, the clerk was killed, even though she complied with all of the robber's demands.
As police search for the robber, the owner says she believes she has struck a blow for justice, and the right of citizens to protect themselves and their property.
She says "it's definitely empowering but at the same token, I'm just glad that I was prepared, I never wanted to be one of those owners that wasn't prepared."
And there is a message for criminals who are terrorizing carry-outs and other small businesses.
She tells Fox 8 "you don't know who you're robbing, you better beware because you don't know, we don't all come into business totally blind, we know what we're getting ourselves into and you caught the wrong person, I was prepared."
Investigators believe the man was wounded and may be seeking medical attention.
Anyone who can identify him is asked to Elyria Police.