HOUSTON -

Two armed men are on the run after a violent holdup at a Family Dollar store in northwest Harris County Monday night, deputies said. For hours employees were holed up in the store after robbers fired shots.

Without a description of the suspects deputies didn't have much to go on, but we learned items of clothing were found behind the store. The clothing will be processed for DNA evidence. So even though the scene is clear the investigation is still not over.

The search is on for two bold robbers that stormed into the Family Dollar with guns raised and shouting orders.

"They came in they robbed the male customer then demanded the money," said Thomas Gilliland, with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

A 22-year-old female and a 23-year-old male employee hit the panic alarm which alerted deputies, then those two employees tried to take cover, but officers say the suspects wanted them to stay put.

"One of the robbers fired two rounds off inside the store hoping to get the two to stop, but they didn't they fled to the back and locked themselves in a closet area," Gilliland said.

Investigators say the suspects struggled to pry open the registers and the back safe. For hours, the employees hid in the back store room and used a cell phone to communicate with deputies.

According to detectives, a SWAT command post was set up, but the two suspects slipped out of the store undetected before the first deputies arrived.

Officers say through all of the chaos, the gun shots and having to hide in a closet for three hours, those employees remained relatively calm and were helpful to deputies during the initial stages of the investigation.

Even though the suspects didn't get the safe or register open, they did steal a customer's cell phone and wallet before leaving. Witnesses told deputies that the two men were wearing black clothing with bandannas on their faces.