Orlando Sentinel ^ | March 16, 2005 | Henry Pierson Curtis

Gunfire loosed bullets inside and outside the Magic Mall Flea Market this morning when an armed shop owner foiled a smash-and-grab robbery.

Miram Singh, the owner of Singh's Jewelry, suffered a gunshot wound in the lower right leg in the unusually violent and brazen crime, according to Orlando police.

Police received a slight jump on the crime shortly after 10 a.m. when a bystander called 911 upon seeing four men wearing masks and bandanas get out of a car and enter the open market set up in an old department store on West Colonial Drive.

"They walked in with their guns and jumped the counter -- that was it," said one of two clerks working in Singh's, who refused to be identified out of fear for his safety. "Those bullets were flying. I crawled ... out of there."

Open for business less than hour, few customers were in the market with more than 30 booths selling 10K gold jewelry, wigs, hats for church, airbrushed t-shirts and bargain clothing. But shop owners told police they heard as many as 20 shots in less than 10 seconds.

Visible damage included a large, shattered window in a tax return office across from Singh's booth. Jewelry cases also were broken.

A second clerk working for Singh cut his arm when one of the glass cases broke as he scrambled over it to flee from the robbers, police said.

At midday, police were not sure how many shots the shop owner fired, if any.

"He was either trapped or decided to fight it out," Detective Matt Deem said, describing how the owner chased the robbers out of the mall and began scooping dropped jewelry when the robbers opened fire again.