Suspects wielding rifles try to carjack retired officer

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Lakeland police are asking for the public's help in the search for a pair of attempted carjackers who pointed assault rifles at a driver.

The driver of a Corvette had just pulled into Ben's Paint Supply on Gary Road. Surveillance video given to FOX 13 by the business shows two masked men running up to the vehicle. Officers said the guns they were holding were AK-47s.

Inside the store, Sally Crisp watched in "absolute shock and terror."

"We literally saw everything step by step and it was terrifying," Crisp said. "They were yelling at him and trying to open the door and they even took the rifle and was hitting the glass and everything, trying to get the gentleman to get out of his car."

The driver of the Corvette, however, stayed put and stayed calm. Crisp said that's because he's a retired police officer.

"He had his wallet in his lap because he was getting ready to come in and pay and he opened it up and he flashed his badge and they took off," she said.

Less than 10 seconds after they approached the car, the two gunmen can be seen running away.

Crisp said, not long after that, the reality of what she'd witnessed set in.

"It hit me and my coworker and we both kind of just started to cry, like 'whoa, that really happened,'" she said. "This could have been the worst day ever but we were very lucky that it turned out the way that it did. So I just hope that they catch him."

Investigators tracked down the GMC Acadia the suspects were believed to be driving, but the criminals were nowhere to be found. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Lakeland Police Department.