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Police release video of pawn shop clerk fatally shooting robber

BOUNTIFUL — Newly released surveillance video shows how a quick-acting Bountiful pawn shop clerk managed to fatally shoot one of two would-be robbers in a confrontation that lasted only 38 seconds.

In the video released Friday by Bountiful police, a man appears in dark clothing at the threshold, pointing a gun at the clerk, who had been wheeling a small bicycle toward the shop door at Bountiful Pawn, 135 S. 500 West, on May 4.

View the video showing the shooting at the Bountiful pawn shop (warning: graphic content).

The footage shows a second man enter with a black bag and a hammer, walking to another part of the store. As the first man with a gun turns to try to close the front door, the clerk appears to take advantage of the distraction and quickly retreats to a side room. Police have said the clerk, whose name has not been released, had just been ordered at gunpoint to lie on the ground but instead ran to the side room, immediately pulled out his own concealed gun and turned to face the robber who followed him to the room

In the video, the clerk raises his own gun and appears to fire before the two struggle on the floor at the back of the room. The clerk frees himself from the robber and leaves the side room, his right hand covered in what appears to be blood. The second man with the bag is seen running from the store just moments before the clerk left the side room.

Bountiful Police Lt. Dave Edwards said the clerk only had a 1- or 2-second window to decide whether to pull the trigger.

"The suspect could have left. He could have left the store then, but instead he continued to pursue (the clerk), and immediately as he comes around the corner again, points the gun again. The clerk defends himself," Edwards said.

"The suspect continues after the shots have been fired and attacks the store clerk," the lieutenant added.

The suspect, identified as Kleydys Arbolaez-Hernandez, 40, of Denver, continued to try and strangle the clerk as he bled and eventually died from the gunshot wound, Edwards said.

The video released Friday on YouTube has been edited to blur the face of the shop clerk and has no sound. The two other men's faces were covered with clothing and hats.

"Clearly, the clerk trained and prepared for this day," Edwards said. "In speaking with the clerk, I know that he's deeply saddened that this had to occur."

The other alleged robber, Alexander Cutino Sanchez, 31, of Houston, was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on 11 counts of robbery and 11 counts of using a firearm during a violent crime for what prosecutors said was a string of aggravated robberies throughout Utah from January to May, in addition to the Bountiful incident.

Sanchez also has been named as a suspect in several robberies in Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas. He was arrested in Texas on May 31 after fleeing Utah following the pawn shop shooting.

Contributing: Mike Anderson