Bar closing time turns into armed robbery in Austin - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Bar closing time turns into armed robbery in Austin

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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -- Last call usually signifies the end of a good night.  Everyone winds down and makes their last order.  Two customers at the Hiawatha Bar in Austin asked for the biggest order of the night, everything in the register.

 "Well, I got a phone call about one o'clock.  He (Bartender) was just closing down, and he said they had just been robbed.  He said the guy had a gun.  I thought, "Oh my god!"  You know," said bar owner Michele Morehouse.

Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger said the man and woman had been in the bar for sometime late Saturday night.  Witnesses say they could have been there anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  They played pool, had a few drinks, and even ordered a pizza.  They could have been simply enjoying themselves or waiting for the opportune time.

 "He might have went in with those thoughts premeditated if the opportunity arises I'm gonna take advantage of it.  Again, that's something I don't have the answer for. It's probably something he thought of or his accomplices, and decided to go for it I guess," Krueger said.

When the suspect finally went for the cash, he ran behind the bar.  Someone asked him what he was doing and he said, "I'm robbing the place!"  That's when one customer tried to stop him.

"He was gonna cut him off, well then that's when the guy pulled out his gun and said get down and he lifted the gun up and fired it," Morehouse said.

The bullet pierced a wall and ended up lodged in the concrete frame of the building.  The placement of the shot was around chest high.  It was a quick brush with death for this hero trying to stop a total stranger.

"It wasn't someone anybody knew.  You know they said they had never seen him before, but they seemed like, you know, like they were nice people," Morehouse said.

In the end, Morehouse said the customers made off with nearly $2,000, and what about their last and final drink of the night?  That's in the hands of the authorities, and is being checked for prints and DNA. 

According to Austin police, the suspects are a man and a woman believed to be in their 20's to 40's. Witnesses describe the male as a fair-skinned black man with very short hair and severe acne -- about 5'8" to 5'11". His accomplice is said to be a heavier set Hispanic woman.

Anyone with information is asked to call Austin police at (507) 437-9400.

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