Cheng-San Chen, the owner of Louie’s, described the suspects as black males, approximately 5’8 tall and of average build, between the ages of 15 and 18, both wearing black ski masks and black outfits.
Chen said that the first assailant ran into the store at about 8:30 p.m., pointed a large pistol at his head and demanded that he open the cash register.
There were no customers in the store at the time of the robbery, and Chen said he was behind the counter doing paperwork.
Chen said the first robber emptied the cash register of about $100, when a second armed assailant entered the store, pointed at the lottery ticket machine and told him to open it.
Chen said he told the two men that it was a lottery machine with no money, and then the first suspect struck him in the head with the barrel of his gun about 15 to 20 times.
“When they hit me, I thought a bullet went through my brain, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I have died,’” Chen said. “While they were hitting me, I pressed the emergency button.”
Chen has an emergency button behind his counter to alert the police.
Chen said he does not remember what happened in the minutes immediately following the blows to his head.
“Probably I lost consciousness. I don’t remember what was going on,” Chen said.
Chen reported feeling immense relief upon regaining consciousness.
“I thought to myself, ‘Oh geez, I am still alive. They didn’t kill me,’” Chen said. “Then I went outside to see what direction they went.”
Chen said several bystanders outside reported that there was a third man who was driving the getaway vehicle. Chen said the vehicle sped away before he could see it.
Chen said that he found what appeared to be the barrel of the gun and a spring lying on the floor of the store after the robbery, but Chen said he was unsure whether the gun was fake.
Cambridge Police Department (CPD) spokesperson Frank T. Pasquarello said that there was no way of knowing whether or not the gun was real and that the robbery investigation is ongoing. He added that Chen needed no medical attention despite the blows to the head.
Joseph K. Costello IV ’03-’04, who visited the store about an hour after the robbery—after the police had left, but prior to the arrival of a team of specialists who collected the evidence—said the pieces of the gun on the floor appeared not to belong to an actual firearm.