So instead of cooperating with the gunman, Alvarez attacked him, disarmed him and drove him out of the store.
Watch video of the altercation in the video below
Alvarez said Sunday night that during the incident, he was worried about protecting his female co-worker.
“My main priority at the time was to keep my co-worker who was with me safe and out of the way” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said when the would-be robber showed up and pointed a gun, “I came around the counter. I told him there was no money in the drawer”
When the robber tried to raise the gun again, Alvarez, a large man, hit him on the hand.
“I tried to grab his gun and his firearm” Alvarez said.
The two tussled.
“He pistol-whipped me on top of the head,” Alvarez said.
By the time the two reached the beer cooler, Alvarez said he was able to “bum rush him into the cooler” and take the handgun away.
Alvarez turned the pistol on the robber and got him out the door. The man, trying to run away, tried to slow Alvarez down.
“He threw a trash can at me. I blocked the trash can out of the way” Alvarez said.
When police arrived at the scene, Alvarez turned over a semiautomatic handgun that police now have locked away, said Sgt. Mark Kusser of the Perkins Police Department. Police were told the suspect ran toward the Pioneer Trail area.
“We searched the area for the individual but were unable to locate anybody,” Kusser said.
Police are attempting to obtain a surveillance video of the incident, Kusser said. The gun will be sent out to be tested for clues, he said.
Alvarez said the robber was a black male about 6 feet tall, weighing perhaps 220 pounds. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt, tan sweat pants and a black ski mask.
The man had a light, scruffy beard and spoke with a deep, gravelly voice, Alvarez said.
Asked how he had the confidence to take on an armed man, Alvarez said, “I don’t know where that came from. It just happened”
But he said what he did was nothing special.
“I think a lot of people would do the same thing,” he said.