Firearm used in early morning robbery
A shopkeeper had a gun pointed to his head as armed robbers forced him to the ground to steal cash and cigarettes.
Two young men entered the Avalon Mini Mart on High St, Lower Hutt, shortly before 7am on Saturday.
One of the men brandished a small black firearm and yelled at the shopkeeper to get on the ground as he walked behind the counter.
The gun was pointed into the shopkeeper's head as he went to the ground, and Mini Mart owner, Pranav Bodalia, said it was a "very scary" scene.
"It wasn't me who opened up, but I have seen the [CCTV] footage and it is horrible," he said.
"My staff member was between two guys with a pistol pointed at his head the whole time.
Bodalia said the pair stole about $300 in cash, and an unknown quantity of cigarettes.
"They are targeting cigarettes. These criminals should be scared of the law - there should be tougher penalties for them I think.
"We can't do anything, and your life is more important than a couple of packets of smokes."
A police spokeswoman said officers arrived soon after the incident, but the pair escaped on foot.
One of the men is described as of solid build and medium height, wearing a brown t-shirt over a black hoodie which had yellow writing on the right sleeve.
The other was wearing a black hoodie under a glow vest, black trousers, and blue shoes with white laces.
Anyone who saw anything suspicious or has information can contact to Lower Hutt Police on 04 560 2600 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.