Thug in horror film mask threatens to shoot shop owner

A SHOPKEEPER today told of his terror after a gunman in a horror film mask threatened to shoot him and two customers.

Javed Iqbal was confronted by two men wearing white masks and hooded tops after they burst into his Colinton shop and demanded cash and cigarettes.

The gunman screamed, “I’ll shoot you, I’ll kill you” at Mr Iqbal as his accomplice went round the back of the counter with a bin liner to collect money from the till.

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Both men were wearing white plastic masks similar to those used by killer Michael Myers in the Halloween films.

The gunman, brandishing a long black pistol, repeatedly aimed the gun at the 44-year-old and two female customers who were cowering at the rear of the shop.

But brave Mr Iqbal tackled the second robber after the gunman ran from the store with the haul, pulling off his white mask so part of his face could be seen on CCTV.

Mr Iqbal continued to struggle with the robber as he tried to flee the shop, finally losing his grip.

The armed raid took place at the Colinton Mains Convenience Store on Colinton Mains Drive at around 6.30pm on Saturday.

Mr Iqbal, who has owned the store for ten years, said: “I was serving a customer when the two men came in wearing masks, gloves and hooded tops. One was pointing a gun at me. It was a long black pistol.

“He kept saying, ‘I’ll shoot you, I’ll kill you’. I managed to push the panic button under the counter to call the police. The other man came round with a rubbish bag and started emptying the till and taking cigarettes. He took about £500 from the till and £500 worth of cigarettes.

“The man with the gun kept pointing the gun at me and shouting, ‘Give me the money, give me the cigarettes’. He also pointed the gun at two women who were in the shop. The whole incident lasted about three minutes.

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“The other man threw the bag to the gunman and he ran from the shop.

“This man was next to me and I thought he was about the same size as me.

“I thought he might have a knife so I grabbed him with my arms around his arms so he couldn’t reach for anything. I managed to pull his mask off. He had a scarf underneath it.

“I kept trying to hold him as he tried to get out of the shop. When we were outside in the street he managed to struggle free and run off.”

Mr Iqbal said it was the first robbery he had suffered. He added: “It was terrifying. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

It is understood that detectives are following a positive line of inquiry to trace the suspects.

Officers said one of the men was spotted getting into a small dark blue hatchback car parked in nearby The Gallolee. The driver of the car is described as being a white man, in his mid 20s with tanned skin and short dark hair.

A police spokesman said: “Fortunately the shopkeeper was not injured in this incident, although he has been understandably shaken. We are appealing for anyone who may have been in the Colinton Mains area, and who may have noticed a group of men acting suspiciously, to contact us on 0131-311 3131.”