Employee's Life or Death Struggle with Donut Shop Robber Caught on Camera

Donut baker Jose Sanchez fended off a would-be armed robber despite being shot at and pistol whipped.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Security camera footage is offering a closer look at a donut shop robbery in National City foiled by a baker working the overnight shift.

The victim, Jose Sanchez, was shot at, pistol whipped and punched. He went up against the gunman with his bare hands and defended the store with whatever he had on the counter to throw.

Turns out he was defending more than the dough.

The strong-armed robber hoping for an easy late-night target found his hands full with Sanchez. 

"I feel very sad about what happened. He is a very good guy. He really is," Sanchez's coworker Adam said.

The man in a tightly cinched hoodie pulled a revolver from his pocket as soon as Sanchez came to the counter to take his order.

The video shows him point to the register, but instead of hard cash he got a hard time.

Off-balance, the would-be robber fired once, then a second time. Both bullets missed their mark, but one hit an electrical outlet behind some shelving.

Sanchez retaliated by throwing a large bottle of creamer, then a box of sweetener.

Now angry, the man put the gun to Sanchez's head, but instead of pulling the trigger he punched him, pistol whipped him, then hopped the counter.

“It's disgusting. It really is. Instead of working, they just rob somebody," Adam said.

Now beaten and bloodied, Sanchez was still not finished.

"I was upset because I saw the guy got clobbered and there was blood on the floor," customer Coyote Moon said.

The man with the gun jumped back over the counter, then fell face first on the floor.

It's clear from the video what Sanchez was protecting -- not the cash, but another baker in the back. His wife, Anna.

For good measure, she sent the would-be thief on his way with a final poke from her donut tongs.

Sanchez was treated at Paradise Valley hospital nearby. He is stitched and bruised, but his sister told NBC 7 he went home around 5:30 a.m. Thursday and is going to be OK.

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