This is the moment a have-a-go hero shopkeeper sent an armed robber packing – by spraying him in the face with ANIMAL REPELLENT.
Dramatic CCTV footage shows a thug armed with a handgun storming into the Kobani Stores, in Walsall, West Mids., at midnight on January 9.
But he was forced to flee empty handed after brave worker Shikha Mahsum, 39, fought back with a dog repellent spray stored behind the counter.
The hooded yob can be seen entering the store and holding the pistol at a customer’s head before being sprayed in the face with the aerosol.
The startled robber then falls backwards into a sweet stand on his way out of the shop before he ran off along West Bromwich Street.
Yesterday (Thurs) West Midlands Police released the incredible 13 secs footage in a bid to trace to suspect.
Detective Constable Gerry Maley, from Walsall’s CID, said: “We would like to commend the bravery of the owner who refused to hand over cash after the man threatened him.
“This must have been a terrifying experience for him and refused to be intimidated by someone who was armed.
“We are now appealing to anyone who recognises the man in the image to come forward with a name.
“It is believed that the gunman was in company with two others who waited by the door.
“We are determined to find those responsible and we are sure that someone will be able to identify the suspects.”
Yesterday (Thurs) Shikha described the moment he tackled the gunman using a repellent spray usually designed for keeping animals off lawns.
Shikha, of West Bromwich, West Mids., said: “More than a month ago, a customer brought in some dog spray and said to me that it is very good for protecting yourself.
“Its like a spray for your garden to keep wild animals off it, but its called dog security spray. I kept it under the counter just in case.
“At about 11.55pm I was trying to shut the shop and four guys came – three came into the shop and one stayed outside.
“One of them had a gun and was shouting ‘give me the money, give me the money.’
“When I saw the gun, I knew it was real. I just reacted on instinct.
“Back home, in Kyrgyzstan, we had to deal with this sort of thing all the time.
“There were explosives going off so I wasn’t really too scared by this one small gun. I thought ‘I’m not going to let you get away with this’.
“I don’t feel scared at all when I am protecting myself and the guy didn’t shoot for some reason.
“Even if they came in with an AK47 or explosives I would have done the same as I did.
“The officer from West Midlands Police described me as a ‘silly hero’.
“Not in a bad way, he just meant that I shouldn’t put my life in danger.
“He said ‘I am proud of you, you are a proper man, but you shouldn’t risk your life like that.
“I came to this country in 2002 to make a good honest living. I have no family over here, just friends.
“I would always protect my friends, my co-workers and this business. We work hard.
“The robber was never going to get away with this.”
Shikha Mahsum was a member of the Kurdish special forces, fighting Saddam Hussein’s army in the mid-late 90s.
He had learned how to use an AK47 by the time he was just 10-years-old in his native Kurdistan and moved to England 15 years ago.
The shopkeeper has been running the store – named after the six-month siege of Kobani in northern Iraq – for the past eight months.
Shikha says he grew up surrounded by conflict and even took two bullets when he caught in a bomb shower whilst serving as a peshmerga in 1996.
He also revealed how during the raid on the shop he narrowly avoided death after hearing a ‘click’ as the gun failed to go off.
He added: “I was in the Kurdish special forces, I fought for the peshmerga in 1996 against Saddam Hussein.
“My whole family is in the army. Back home, my brother my uncle, everybody is fighting.
“We grew up with guns and bombs the threat of death every minute of the day.
“I used to play football on the streets with my friends with Saddam’s bombs falling all around us.
“On August 31, 1996 I was caught in a bomb shower.
“I don’t know what kind of bomb it was but my back was badly injured and I left the special forces after that.
“My front, my belly, my back were all bleeding.
“My dad had an AK47 and my uncle had an AK47 so I know how to open one, how to clean one and how to shoot one.
“I had learned how to use one when I was 10 or 11 years old. Using a gun is to protect yourself.
“I was trained for when they enemy came near, I shoot them. They teach you not to be scared at all.
“If you grow up in my kind of family, then you have a gun on the table at all times.
“I have never seen anything like a gun or even knives used in this country.
“But back at home even when you go to weddings someone has a gun.
“When the guy came in the shop, I don’t know why it didn’t go off because he clicked it.
“If you watch the footage again you can see that he tries to pull the trigger.
“But then he runs off like a little girl. I chased them but they jumped in a car and sped off.
“I hope they are found by the police and brought to justice.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact DC Gerry Maley on 101 and quote 20WS/7007D/17