Cornelius, N.C. - Police say they're still on the lookout for a suspect officials say robbed a man at gunpoint while he was pumping gas Thursday night at the Citgo gas station off of exit 28 in Cornelius.
Police say this is the first time this year an armed robbery has happened at that gas station off of Catawba Avenue. The victim’s family says they're just happy to have their loved one alive and with them.
Fernando Torres says he was on his way home after work to see his family when someone crept up behind him while he was filling up his gas tank.
"He put a gun in my stomach and said give me your money or I’ll kill you. Then he hit me in the face and the stomach," said Torres.
"His face was all swollen. He told me his body really hurt," said Roberta Vega, his wife.
Torres says he only had 20 dollars in his pocket to use for gas. He says it was thanks to his friend that he's still alive.
"The man who works in the taco truck came out when I called out for help. He shot a bullet into the air. After that, the man ran off," said Torres.
"I feel horrible because... You never know what could have happened. The man said he was going to kill my husband," said his wife.
Torres says through it all, his thoughts were with his family.
"I thought about my children, my family. Because I am the only one providing for them," said Torres.
"I want them to catch this man. If he could do this to Fernando, he could do it to anyone," said Vega.
The father of three is back at work even after all he went through Thursday night.
Police say they have not had any other armed robberies like this in Cornelius over the past year.
We asked police if they believe he was targeted as authorities have said in the past that Latinos are sometimes the target of robberies because they are known to carry cash. Officials say they don't as of yet have a motive.
Officers suggest people always be aware of their surroundings and if you have to pump gas after dark, be sure you are in a well-lit area and look out from the gas pump if possible.