With a knife at his throat and the taste of blood on his lips, Vikas Dubey believed that in just a few moments, his life would be over.
The 24-year-old was working at the Kingsford Supermarket, in Mangere, on Tuesday night when a group of hooded men, armed with machetes, stormed inside.
"I was just working...and suddenly a guy came from the back and punched me from the back. I just fell down."
He said he was knocked out cold.
"I don't remember what happened.
"After a few seconds, I got back up and I see a guy putting a knife on my neck and asking me for the money. He punched my eyes and my nose.
"I was thinking, 'He's going to kill me'."
A female colleague, Pinal Patel, could only watch on helplessly as the robbers yelled at her to open the till.
Dubey has asked that his face not be shown.
Knife marks are still visible across his neck. He has bruising on his face and a beanie hides the lump on the back of his head.
The incident happened about 7.30pm.
Closing time was 8pm and the store is always quiet beforehand.
Dubey had his back to the door and therefore no chance to defend himself when he was smacked in the head from behind.
It is an act he says only a coward would commit.
"They're just cowards hitting me from the back."
Speaking to the Herald from his home this afternoon, he said he had not told his family in India as he did not want his mother to worry.
He acknowledged that doing so may be good for his own well-being, but that he would not be telling her in a hurry.
"I just can't do that to her.''
Dubey has been in and out of hospital the past couple of days, as doctors carry out various examinations and scans as he is still suffering headaches two days later.
He had been working at the store for the past 10 months. It was a job he loved.
Now it is a job he is scared to go back to, but says he will have to, to continue earning a living for himself and his family.
He still has nightmares about the incident, but also knows how close he came to death.
Counties Manukau Police continue to hunt the four masked offenders and are appealing to the public or family members who may recognise them to come forward.
Anyone who was near Raglan St at the time and may have seen anything suspicious is urged to contact police immediately.
Detective inspector Fa'amanuia Va'aelua said the group was thought to have left through a nearby park and on to Haddon St.
"I have no doubt that someone will recognise these absolute cowards from this footage and from the stills that we posted yesterday.
"We are asking for anyone with information to contact police immediately. We need to identify and catch these offenders as soon as possible.
"They are violent, dangerous and need to be held to account for what they have done.''
**Can you help?Contact Counties Manukau Police: (09) 261 1300 or CrimeStoppers anonymous: 0800 555 111.