Armed robbers burst into a Wombwell shop and threatened terrified staff with an axe and a suspected gun during a raid.
Three men barged their way into the Post Convenience Store on Brampton Road - with one brandishing an axe and another a suspected firearm.
One of them held the axe above the head of one female worker before smashing it down at the side of her.
Store owner Keith Dyer was in the adjoining residential premises when the robbers struck. His wife and daughter-in-law were in the shop.
The 64-year-old said: “I remember hearing raised voices and just assumed it was a customer getting a little angry. I went over to find out what was happening and walked in to find a man standing over my daughter-in-law with an axe.
“At that point the man raised it further above his head before bringing it down on a microwave just above her.
“I remember feeling completely helpless, my gut reaction was to go to protect my family but as I moved forward my wife held me back.
“As the attackers moved into a back room, I managed to run outside and raise the alarm. Thankfully no one was physically hurt but the ordeal has left us all shaken. I feel incredibly angry and want to see the people responsible brought to justice.
“Not only did these men threaten my family but also my livelihood and I would urge anyone with information to call police immediately.”
The trio demanded money and made off with the till and a quantity of cigarettes.
The till was recovered the day after the robbery in a field near Wentworth.
Detectives have been making extensive enquiries since the incident and are now appealing for information about the incident, which happened on Monday, January 13, at 6.45pm.
Officers have spent the last several weeks conducting detailed forensic examinations at the scene and on the till, trawling CCTV and speaking to neighbours.
Detectives are now keen to hear from anyone who saw three men acting suspiciously in the area that night.
Detective Constable Darren McConnell, from Barnsley CID, said: “This was a violent attack on a family who were simply trying to make a living. The sight of three masked men barging their way into the shop must have been terrifying and someone somewhere will know who is responsible.
“I’m urging people to think back to that night. Were you in the area? Do you pass the shop on your drive home? Do you remember seeing anything or anyone acting strangely?
“No matter how small or insignificant you think the information is, we want to hear from you as it could prove vital to our inquiry.”
The suspects all had their faces covered. The man carrying the suspected firearm was aged between 23 and 26, about 6ft tall, of slim build, and was wearing a dark hooded top and grey bottoms.
The man brandishing the axe is about 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky build. The third suspect was about 5ft 8ins tall, they were both wearing dark clothing.
Witnesses or anyone with information is urged to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 895 of 13 January, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.