Detectives: 3 men rob CVS, pistol-whip manager

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HUNTERS CREEK, Fla. - The moment three masked men stormed into a convenience store early Monday morning, the manager said he knew everything was about to change.

Detectives released surveillance video Monday hoping to generate leads from an early morning robbery at a CVS in Hunters Creek on south Orange Blossom Trail.

The male suspects can be seen frantically moving around in the video.

One dark-skinned black male suspect was wearing black shorts, a black hooded jacket, black shoes with white stripes, a pale mask and had a gun in his right hand.

The second suspect was a dark skinned black male wearing a black T-shirt, a red hat with lettering on the front and black pants with a white bandanna towel that reached the man's stomach. A victim said the lettering may have read 'FSU.'

The third suspect was a white, or Hispanic male who wore white plaid shorts, a black shirt and a black mask.

Investigators said the manager was also pistol-whipped.

The employee said he thought the robbers were going to pull the trigger at any minute.

"I accepted that we're going to get robbed. 4:20 am. Three cats. Face covered. It's not Halloween," Chris Staco, the CVS store manager said.

The robbers, armed with handguns, forced a customer and Staco to the ground, investigators said.

Investigators said one jumped the counter as the others dragged the worker behind the counter, and forced him to open the cash drawer and safe.

Staco said he knew he had to be calm and cooperate because his life was on the line.

"If I mess up, customer's dead. I'm probably not here," Staco said.

"You have a very deadly situation that can erupt any second with these individuals," said Capt. Angelo Nieves with Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The robbers also stole cellphones and money from the customer and manager, and even pistol-whipped and knocked out the manager.

Detectives don't have any evidence linking the men to any other robberies, but don't believe this is their first.

The worker said, he thinks it's a "miracle" he's alive and is just glad he's around to tell the story.

"That was God more than anything," Staco said.