VIDEO: Liquor Mart employee hospitalized after violent robbery in Winnipeg
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries piloting secure entrances after 3 employees hurt in attack
Video of a liquor store robbery shows an employee being punched in the face during a brutal attack at the Tyndall Park Liquor Mart Wednesday.
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries said three employees were assaulted during an unprovoked attack at the store.
One of the employees was sent to hospital.
A video obtained by CBC News shows a hooded assailant, accompanied by a second person holding a weapon, yelling and pushing a security guard, before yelling at a female employee behind the counter. The assailant then comes behind the counter, yelling at the woman, and then punching her in the head. The woman falls to the floor.
The assailant then yells at another male employee before attacking him.
Watch the video of the robbery here:
CBC spoke Wednesday evening with people in the mall who say the attackers assaulted two women and another man in the shopping centre after leaving the Liquor Mart.
The women took shelter in an office, the witness said, adding one of the assailants was held back by a bystander until police arrived.
A witness who works in the mall described the attack as "terrifying" and said the assailants just went "crazy," and were attacking people in the parking lot.
Broken glass and spilled liquor could be seen in the snow outside the back entrance to the mall.
Secure entrances coming
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday night about the robbery, Manny Atwal, president and CEO of Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, said incidents of violence and theft at liquor stories have to stop.
Watch the full press conference with Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries here:
"Our employees should not feel unsafe at work. They should not be subject to threats of harm or attempts of harm by anyone," he said.
"They should not have to come to work every day wondering how many times someone will threaten or try to harm them, or one of our customers."
Atwal said the store will remain closed until further notice.
Atwal said construction is underway at the Tyndall Park location for a secure entrance, meaning the store will be locked, and customers will have to show valid photo ID at a security station before being able to shop. These secure entrances will be installed at other locations in the coming weeks, he said.
"As a retailer that prides itself on customer service and offering a modern shopping experience, we did not want to impose these measures — however, we have an obligation to provide a safe environment for our employees and customers," Atwal said.
"We have tried numerous tactics to address this issue, but it's clear to us is that more drastic measures must be taken."
When contacted by CBC News Wednesday night, the Winnipeg Police Service said they could not comment on the incident.
The attack is the latest in a string of brazen robberies at Winnipeg Liquor Marts. Over the past several months, social media feeds have been filled with video of such incidents, showing thieves grabbing bottles off shelves, seemingly with little regard for the consequences.
Michelle Gawronsky, president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union, which represents liquor store employees, said she was shocked by the level of violence in this latest incident, saying the situation has gotten out of hand.
"I worry every day about our Liquor Mart members that go to work each day, worrying about what could be happening to them, and I'm sure all of our Liquor Mart workers right now are worried about getting up in the morning and going into work," she said.
"We're at a point now where we need to do something."
With files from Holly Caruk and Caroline Barghout