A Co Down couple has thanked the public for their uplifting support after an armed robbery at their shop in Newry on Monday night.
Two masked men entered Dublin Road Costcutter in the city shortly before 9.30pm, where they held up a 21-year-old staff member at gun point before making off with money and cigarettes.
Alistair and Craig Crossey-Truesdale, who own the family business, said they were glad no staff member was hurt in the incident, which is being investigated by police.
Alistair said he was able to watch the "horrendous" ordeal on CCTV on his phone as they travelled from their home in Hillsborough after being called to the scene.
"When we arrived we weren't allowed in the building," he said.
"Our staff member has been with us for eight or nine months and was in shock when we got to the shop, he was laughing and joking but I'm sure it's setting in today.
"Even in the times we're living in when we have to keep our distance, all you want to do is give him a hug. It's terrifying.
"As long as he was ok and wasn't hurt, that was our main concern, as it is for all our staff members. It doesn't matter about the shop or stock or any of our money."
There was little damage done to the shop.
"Who knows what they would have done if there was nothing to give them," he said.
"Our staff member just stood back and let them do whatever they wanted - one stood at the door and the other came behind the till with the gun."
Police are hopeful they may catch the culprits behind the robbery, who made their getaway in a dark coloured Volkswagen Golf car.
The couple, whose 24-year-old son Johnathon also works in the shop, said they weren't originally planning to open on Tuesday but said the support of the community has made all the difference.
"It left such a bad taste in our mouths, but we just said we have to because we're a community store and we work for the community," said Alistair.
"We've been here for three years and we've never had anything like this happen before and we just said we're going to open and that's it."
Alistair, who previously worked in interior design, said the response of the public has been uplifting after the couple shared a video online condemning the incident.
"Our deliveries have arrived as normal and our customers have been in wishing us well and supporting us and our colleague who was working last night. That's uplifting, especially in this time with the coronavirus when we know people have other things on their minds.
"We're a family business and all three of us work here. We've put our heart and soul into it to make it succeed and we intend to keep going that way."
Detectives are investigating and have appealed to anyone with any information which could assist them with their enquiries to contact them at Ardmore station on 101 quoting reference number 1603 30/03/20.
Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.