Armed robbers hold up Buffalo Wild Wings; 1 victim pistol-whipped

Published: Apr. 2, 2019 at 1:26 AM MDT
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"We were just having a good time with our friends ... then, like, 10 minutes after, we saw everyone start running and taking cover."

Customers at a Colorado Springs Buffalo Wild Wings recounted the tense moments at least two armed men held up the restaurant Monday night.

"Well first, I just saw a couple run behind the wall and I thought maybe they were hiding from a friend as a joke or something, but then I saw the girl’s eyes and they just looked terrified," said witness Hannah Swenson.

"I was like, ‘OK, this isn’t a joke.’"

The Buffalo Wild Wings on North Academy near Woodmen was still bustling when masked robbers sauntered in carrying firearms around 10:20 p.m. Police said at least 20-25 people were inside.

"From my perspective, I saw a male," said witness John Douglas, describing one of the robbers. "He was dressed in all black, had a black beanie, a black mask, had an assault rifle ... he didn’t have it drawn on anybody, he was just, you know, telling them to stay back and stay down."

"The other guy had the hostess," Swenson said. "Choking her with the gun to her head."

Douglas and Swenson crouched down so the men wouldn't notice them.

"I just started getting out of there, crawling, running, and ran across the street into the nearest neighborhood," Swenson said.

"We went out and got to safety, and that's when I called 911 and they showed up in like 10 seconds," Douglas said.

Police say the robbers were already gone when officers got there. One person inside the restaurant was found injured after having been pistol-whipped by the assailants. No other injuries were reported.

The men were reportedly after money, but it's unclear what they got away with.

The robbers left in a vehicle, which Swenson and Douglas say may have passed them while they were hiding outside the restaurant.

"We saw a car drive by while we were in the neighborhood and that’s when I got behind a shed because it just didn’t feel right. They were driving really slow and had the windows cracked and really dark," Swenson said.

There's currently no vehicle description, and police have not released suspect descriptions. It's also unclear how many people were involved in the robbery; some witnesses reported seeing two men, while others thought there were at least one or two more.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Colorado Springs Police Department at 719-444-7000 or Crime Stoppers at 719-634-STOP.