STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton business went up in flames after being firebombed with customers inside. And the attack was caught on video.
Gray’s Liquors was closed Monday as cleanup from the fire began. Most of the merchandise was left charred.
“I’ve never seen nothing like that in my life,” said store owner Frank Gray.
The incident happened on Saturday morning and surveillance video shows someone opening the door, and moments later, there’s a blast of fire as roof-high flames fill the store with black smoke.
“Then the door popped open. That’s when I heard like, a boom,” said store employee Raymond Williams.
Williams had just opened the store and was helping the first customer of the day when someone threw the molotov cocktail inside. Williams and the customer panicked and ran for the door.
Williams says he’s thankful the bomb didn’t go off closer to where he was standing. There’s a wall full of liquor bottles that could have caught fire.
“I feel lucky. I feel blessed,” said Williams.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s like attempted murder,” said Gray. “It’s not like any confrontation, any words or anything. It’s just open the door and throw it.”
Gray’s 39-year-old store is now torched. Merchandise is unsalable and his signage and air conditioner are frozen in time partly melting from the wall.
“This is 30 years of stuff right here, so that’s all gone, period,” said Gray.
Gray has no idea why his store was targeted, but worries it could happen again.
“If someone is bold enough to come here and open this door and do what they did, that might just be a trend that’s getting ready to get started with other businesses,” he said.
It could be weeks before the store reopens. Gray estimates damages are in the thousands.
Police say they have no leads, but believe two suspects were involved.