Businesses disrupted during Manatee shootout - WFLA News Channel 8

Businesses disrupted during Manatee shootout

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A.J. Ali was just putting out his sign in front of his Boost Mobile store, when he found out this wasn't going to be just another Monday.

"I heard some gunshots," said Ali.

A shot shattered a van's window parked near his store. It was a stray bullet from a shootout between Manatee deputies and a suspected bank robber on 33rd Street East, right in front of a shopping center.

Deputies closed 33rd Street East at State Road 70, and put several businesses in the area on lockdown. Customers in the stores were asked to stay put for about 45 minutes.

33rd Street East remained closed for several hours.

Ali actually made a few extra sales from customers in the parking lot who decided to come in.

"We had a couple of good sales from this, but it is bad to see this inside of our plaza like this," said Ali.

For most of the other businesses, the road closures were extremely disruptive.

Workers at a daycare and preschool with 160 children said they moved the kids to the back to keep them safe from the front windows.

One restaurant owner gave up and closed for the day.

Rebecca Rue was driving by in her pick-up truck running errands when she had a close personal encounter with a bullet. One of the stray bullets during the shootout struck the driver's side of her truck.

"I have never been so frightened in all my life because I mean it was right at me I guess the angle it was shot it didn't come straight through to me," said Rue.

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