MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police are looking for a suspect after they said shots were fired during a holdup at Half Shell restaurant in Southeast Memphis.

Surveillance video shows the robber holding employees at gunpoint before forcing them to help move a large safe.

This man says he actually punched the robber to get away. After getting a good look at his face, he said he could tell the suspect is a former employee.

It was all caught on camera. A man in the kitchen was cooking up a master plan to rob the Half Shell restaurant on Winchester Road.

Moments later, you can see two people being forced out of the dining room with their hands in the air.

Image taken from MPD video

This man who agreed to talk if we didn’t show his face says he was also held at gunpoint.

“They came outside and pretty much got held up at gunpoint,” the victim told us. “Before I even got out the car good, I had a gun to my head.”

According to police, officers responded to a robbery at Half Shell around 6:35 Monday morning.

A man and woman who were meeting their manager to prep food told detectives the suspect entered through an unlocked door and demanded they help him wheel out the restaurant’s safe.

“There is no way in hell the safe was going to fit on a two-wheeler or in a car it weighs about a thousand pounds,” the victim said.

Police say when the suspect went to start the getaway car he fired a shot as the couple ran back inside to hide in a beer cooler. That’s when their manager says he arrived unaware of the situation.

“He had the gun out immediately in my face and was telling me, you know what time it is, come over here and get this safe on the 2-wheeler,” the victim said. “He just yelling not to look at him, not to look at me in my face.”

It was that moment he says the suspect’s ski-mask slipped and he saw a familiar face.

“I think I got a pretty good idea who it is,” the victim said. “He was fired a couple months ago, about a month or so ago.”

Knowing the safe wasn’t going very far, he said he knew he’d have to fight for his life. 

“Once I swung and ran he just got in his car and drove off,” the victim said. “I just heard a gunshot when I was running and I kind of had my head covered up to make sure I didn’t get shot in the head.”

Management at the Half Shell declined to comment today. 

Police say the suspect got away with a cellphone, $20 in cash, and a debit card with 200 dollars on it. 

If you know anything about this incident, you are urged to call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.