Two men doused a Studio City jewelry store in pepper spray in a robbery attempt on Friday but an employee was able to ward them off by firing a handgun, authorities said.
But several of the shop's patrons were harmed when the incident unfolded around 2:40 p.m. inside Dana Kathryn Jewelry, in the 12600 block of Ventura Boulevard, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Tony Im.
Footage from the scene showed paramedics racing to wash industrial-strength pepper spray off women who had been shopping in the store. At least one person was taken away on a stretcher.
"I saw a woman, she was in pain," said Fernando Flores, who works next door. "She had pepper spray all over her face."
Several glass cases in the boutique were also casualties of the incident, as the robbers began smashing them up with hammers after unleashing the pepper spray, according to Josh Rubenstein, the LAPD's public information director.
But it was unclear whether they had made off with any merchandise, as they were soon chased away by gunfire, Rubenstein said.
“In the process of all of that, one of the employees was able to get a handgun behind the counter and fire a round at the suspect," he said.
It did not appear that either suspect was struck, Rubenstein added.
Police described the assailants as well-dressed white men who ran away northbound on Ventura Boulevard after the robbery.