Alone with gunman, a choice: fight or die Manager clutches at robber's gun through struggle, deadly shot By Bao Ong [email protected] Article Last Updated: 05/02/2008 11:58:00 PM CDT Facing an armed robber who fired a warning shot and tried to tie him up, Matt Huerta's survival instincts kicked in. The 57-year-old manager of Trail Liquors in Inver Grove Heights said he could think only one thing: grab the gun and shoot the intruder — or die. "I just had that real strong feeling I might not be alive after he leaves the store," Huerta said. "I didn't want to die in a pool of blood." Huerta, of Rosemount, lurched for the .357-caliber revolver in Dwayne A. Curry's back pocket, and the men wrestled on the floor, each shooting the other. When the fight ended, Huerta had suffered a single gunshot wound to his left leg. Curry, 42, of St. Paul, died later from wounds to his upper right leg and right hand. "I knew he was going to shoot me if he tied me up," Huerta said. "There would be no witnesses." It appears Huerta acted in self-defense, police Lt. Jerry Salmey said, but the Inver Grove Heights Police Department still is investigating. The investigation should be complete by next week, Salmey said, and the case will be forwarded to the Dakota County attorney, who could decline to charge Huerta for acting in self-defense, charge him in the shooting or leave the decision to a grand jury. Police confiscated videotape from a surveillance camera and may use it for evidence. Curry spent time in prison for burglary and theft-related felonies. He spent six years, from 1994 to 2000, in prison for armed robbery in Washington County and in 2007 was held for offenses in St. Paul and Minneapolis, according to state records. Robbers previously had burglarized Trail Liquors, at 9740 S. Robert Trail, Huerta said, but never at gunpoint. Huerta has worked at the store for seven years. He was counting cash when Curry entered shortly before 10:30 a.m. Thursday, flashing his gun and demanding money, Huerta said. The manager pointed to what he was counting, but Curry said he wanted money from a safe. Huerta led Curry to a back office, where he fumbled a few times to open the safe, because he was nervous. There was no money inside. "He said, 'I want the money,' " Huerta said. "I said, 'It's all out front.' " That's when Curry fired a single shot into the air before trying to tie Huerta with string and an electrical cord attached to a vacuum, he said. The fate of another liquor store employee, left to die after being robbed and shot in the head, ran through his mind, Huerta said. After the shootings, Huerta grabbed the gun with both hands, then kept an eye on Curry as he called 911. Both men were taken to Regions Hospital, where Curry died Thursday afternoon. Huerta, who was in good condition, was released Friday. "I'm not that young to die, and I'm not that old to die," he said. "I was going to go down fighting." St Paul Pioneer Press. Never let ANYONE take you in the back room and tie you up at a job. Fight them for all your worth to keep them from doing that. What do you think of this?