In an instant, one of the gunmen vaulted over the counter and pointed a gun at Saint Fort, telling him to drop to the floor. The 23-year-old college student, who has worked the night shift for three years to put himself through school, believed he would be killed.
"I thought that was it," he said.
Moments later, one of the gunmen opened fire, shooting three customers inside the shop and another man who was driving by.
Those inside the shop at 4800 W. Atlantic Ave. on the night before Thanksgiving Day expressed relief Wednesday when the Broward County Sheriff's Office announced the arrests of three men who it believes were involved in the shooting as well as a series of other violent robberies.
James Herard, 19; Calvin Weatherspoon, 20; and Jonathan Jackson, 23, were taken into custody Tuesday in an unrelated case.
According to Broward County sheriff's officials, the three admitted their involvement in Dunkin' Donuts shop robberies in Tamarac, Sunrise and Delray Beach, as well as the robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Pompano Beach.
When asked why they shot patrons of the Delray Beach Dunkin' Donuts who were lying on the floor during last week's robbery, one of the suspects said he "just wanted to up the body count," Broward County sheriff's Sgt. Neal Glassman said Wednesday.
Herard said he had no soul, Glassman said. The 19-year-old added that he could shoot Glassman and another detective and it wouldn't mean anything.
"It was sport," Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said Wednesday. "These are just coldblooded thugs who enjoyed doing this."
The case broke on Tuesday when Lauderhill police working in a high-crime neighborhood spotted a white Toyota Camry similar to the one that witnesses saw leaving one of the shops that had been robbed. Police followed the car as it stalked a man walking his pit bull.
Two men jumped from the car, attacked the man and tried to steal his dog. Police arrested both attackers and the driver, then called the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
On Wednesday, the men were charged with armed robbery in connection with the pit bull theft. They were being held without bail in the Broward County Jail.
Though investigators say they do not doubt the trio's confessions, they have held off on charging them with the violent robberies and shootings until they can obtain additional evidence.
On Wednesday, deputies were serving several search warrants, including one at the home the men shared in Lauderhill.
The deputies are still trying to identify the shooter and are looking for at least one other suspect.
All three men in custody said they were in the Crips gang. All have a history of arrests ranging from assault on a police officer and drug possession to counterfeiting.
"I'm glad they are off the streets," said Arthur Scuotto, 52, who was at the Delray Beach Dunkin' Donuts on the night of the shooting.
Scuotto and a couple of friends from the Las Verdes condominiums in Delray Beach go to the shop for coffee after playing cards almost every night, he said.
Scuotto's friend and neighbor, Henry Bornstein, 84, was shot in the face.
Though the shooting appeared random, Scuotto said, it is possible that Bornstein was targeted because he could not drop to the store's floor fast enough.
"He does have problems with his legs. He does walk very slow," Scuotto said. "He couldn't get down very fast." Scuotto said he visits his friend at the hospital every day and expects his recovery to take months.
Saint Fort, the cashier, said he saw an opportunity to flee as one of the gunmen rifled through the register.
"I said, 'I'm going to run. I'm not going to stop. Just run,' " Saint Fort said.
He made it out the shop's back door and did not stop sprinting until he was behind a nearby bank, where he stopped to call 911. When Saint Fort later watched video from a surveillance camera, he saw that one of the robbers had started to chase him with a gun as he dashed for the door.
"I said, 'Oh my God. I was very lucky,' " he said.
Delray Beach police are offering a $5,000 reward on top of the $2,500 offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrests of the remaining attackers. Dunkin' Donuts is offering a $20,000 reward.