Fort Pierce police officers apprehended an armed robber Saturday night after he forced a store employee to the floor at gunpoint and threatened to kill her before fleeing with the store’s cash drawer.
The robbery happened at H&M Discount Beverage, 2725 South U.S. Highway 1 in Fort Pierce at 10:15 p.m.
The victim said a man in a gray hoodie walked into the store, which was open for business, and kicked down a dividing door near a cash register. He pointed a handgun at the employee and threatened to kill her, forcing her onto the floor as he took the cash drawer.
He then told her to wait 10 minutes before calling police, then fled outside and got in a gray 2004 Grand Prix.
The employee quickly went outside and told a store customer in the parking lot what had just happened, and the customer got back into his own car and followed the suspect while calling 9-1-1, giving location and direction to dispatchers.
Fort Pierce officers, with assistance from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, stopped the suspect’s car in the 4100 block of S. 25 Street and took him into custody. The cash drawer, cash from the business and a weapon were found in the car, and the victim identified the driver as the one who pointed a gun at her face and threatened to kill her.
The suspect, Ryan Horton, 34, of the 3600 block of S.E. Gatehouse Circle in Stuart, was charged with armed robbery, false imprisonment and aggravated assault, and was transported to St. Lucie County Jail.