PASADENA, Texas – Suzie Ram stands behind a register at her Pasadena convenience store with her two daughters and son.
Ram said her 11-year-old daughter needs to be close to her because she has autism.
“She needs to be with me all time. She’s been here with me since she was a baby,” Ram said.
A week and a half ago, the family’s sense of security inside the Burke Road store shattered when armed men entered and demanded money.
“He said, ‘Give me that bag or this is it.’ He’s yelling at me with the gun on her, waving at her. She had her hands were up,” Ram said. “‘Give me the other bag or this is the last time momma. Momma give me the bag.’”
Ram’s 18-year-old daughter was behind the register. Ram and her 11-year-old were with a customer. The two thieves pointed guns at Ram and her eldest daughter.
“The way he was shaking that gun at her like that and her eyes, the fear in her eyes. I watch that video and he could have taken her. He could have shot her,” said Ram.
Her daughter handed the masked man a bag filled with $6,000. It’s money the family spent two months saving.
“We buy everything for our store on a credit card,” she said. “And then we pay off the credit card and we start over every month. That’s how we survive.”
Ram said as one of the men ran away, he thanked her.
“‘Thank you, ma’am.’ The audacity, ‘Thank you ma’am.’ I’m taking your lively, I’m taking everything from you but thank you,” said Ram. “I’m threatening your life but thank you.”
Ram and her husband are relatively new store owners, the 713 Food Store has only been open for five years. She said the couple saves every penny.
“Convenience store owners literally save their pennies and that’s what we do, it’s pennies,” Ram said. “I’m upset. I’m nervous because I don’t know if we’re going to overcome this.”
“We need help getting back on our feet or we will have to close our doors. Anything will be appreciated,” Ram’s daughter Amberly Gonzalez wrote on the GoFundMe campaign. “When COVID hit, people would come in hungry and desperate for a bite to eat and my parents are always generous to help anyone. Now they are the ones needing help. Please show love and support to them.”