COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Police are still searching for the man who barged into Seventh Inning Stretch on Main Street in Cooperstown Monday morning and threatened the owner with a handgun.
Police say the store's owner fired shots in self defense, after 62-year-old Barry Renert, a former employee, walked in wearing a mask and made the threat.
The owner missed and Renert took off, according to police.
"At this time we're not sure a location where he is. We've checked here in the village. We believe he has a rental car. Could be headed back to Florida and has contacts in the county area here," said Chief Michael Covert, Village of Cooperstown Police Department.
Renert is originally from Richfield Springs, but currently lives in Seminole County, Florida. Police believe he drove up from Florida to carry out the threat.
It was a shocking scene in Cooperstown where two days before Christmas, streets are usually filled with last-minute shoppers, not police patrolling with assault rifles, bullet proof vests and K-9 units.
"Crazy, craziness, yeah it's just chaos. It's not something you see here," said Rebecca Fogarty, an employee at Schneider's Bakery on Main Street.
Police shut down Main Street, stores were put into lockdown mode and residents were told to stay inside for safety.
"I came down here to pick up my children who are about 15 feet inside the blockade here and was told no one's allowed to walk, no traffic allowed," said Steve Bohler, a concerned parent.
"It was really chaotic because nobody could get in from Main Street, nobody could turn, we opened the side door so people could come in," said Fogarty.
Cooperstown police set up a command post where multiple agencies gathered. The owner of the store, visibly shaken, said he's not ready to talk about what happened.
Renert is described as being 6'2" and weighing about 240 pounds. He has green eyes and gray hair or a shaved head. He has full-sleeve tattoos. According to the Otsego County District Attorney's Office, it is believed Renert is driving a black 2012 Chrysler 200LX with the Florida license plate AFPK42.
If you know Renert's whereabouts or have any information, contact Cooperstown police immediately: (607) 547-2500.
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