A customer at a Rochester restaurant saved the day when at least one armed robber broke in.

People's Choice Kitchen on Brooks Avenue in Rochester has been giving back to the community for the holidays by allowing customers to pay whatever they can for meals.

Owner Evangela Stanley says at least one person with a gun rushed the front door Monday. She says a good Samaritan in the restaurant fought with the suspect and the two plunged through the front window.

Rochester police said it appears shots were fired during the incident, but no one was hit.

"I'm still shaken. I've only had a few hours sleep, but I wasn't going to let them stop me," said Stanley. "I'm going to open up and I'm going to continue to open up every day that I'm scheduled."

Despite the incident, Stanley reopened the restaurant Tuesday. She says she hopes people in the neighborhood will continue to stop by.

The exact number of suspects involved isn't clear at this time. Police say multiple people fled the scene. 

For 10 years, Darnell Wilson has been a regular at People's Choice Kitchen. It's even been a place of refuge.

"At one point in time I had lost a job and she gave me a chance,” Wilson said referring to the owner. “I even had an apartment upstairs."

Stanley, affectionately called Van, has a reputation for helping others. Throughout the holidays, she's only asked customers to pay what they can.

"I wasn't the only person she's helped out before,” said Wilson. “She's really helped out the community."

But on the night of the alleged incident, Van was the one who needed help.

"I heard Van yelling,” Wilson explained. “I saw her in this room right here. I saw a guy after her like he was trying to tackle her. She started running towards me [and I started] running towards her. I met with the guy here and just started fighting."

The fight spilled out into the entryway where the suspect allegedly fired off shots. Both of them went through a window onto the sidewalk where the suspect ran away.

"(There was) no thinking when it came to her rescue,” Wilson remembered.

Wilson was the only one hurt. He was left with cuts to his hand, elbow and torso.

"(I’m) very thankful to be here,” he said. “It could have been bad either way. He could've ended up dead. I could've ended up dead. Van could have been hurt. The guy in the back could've been hurt. So, I'm thankful everybody's safe.”

And so is Van, who wanted to publicly express her appreciation to Wilson. She shared that the night of the attempted armed robbery was the same night as her son’s birthday. 

"He saved my life,” she said tearfully before giving him a hug. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

"Any other time I'd leave. I’d get my food and I would go. Timing is everything,” Wilson said.

Wilson told Spectrum News Rochester that after being treated he was able to spend Christmas with his family, including his 10-year-old son. He said he's glad he could help so People's Choice can continue helping others.

Rochester Police are still investigating attempted armed robbery. So far, no arrests have been made.