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3 masked men in black rob store, shoot worker in arm

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 14, 2000

TAMPA -- Three masked men wearing black clothing robbed a convenience store Monday and shot one of the store's employees in the arm.

Pucho Rodriguez, 57, was leaving the Ready store where he works at N Lois Avenue and W Alva Street just after 9 p.m. when three gunmen burst through the door, Tampa police said. Rodriguez punched one of them, who retaliated by shooting him in the arm.

The other two gunmen demanded that the store's other clerk open the safe, but the clerk didn't know the combination. The gunmen then took money from the cash register and a box beside the register and left the store. Police said the three men got into a dark green 1980s model Toyota or Nissan and drove west on Alva.

Rodriguez was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital for his wound, which police said was minor.

The suspects were described as black men in their 20s, wearing black clothes and gloves. One of them wore a red ski mask and one wore a red mask of a World Wrestling Federation character known as Cain, police said.

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