Good Guy With A Gun
There’s a reason most 7-Elevens seem to have “Help Wanted” signs permanently affixed to their windows. Just as there’s a reason that most convenience stores have big tape measures beside the exits.
The job of a convenience store clerk is dangerous. Most workers don’t last long.
Who could blame them?
“Other than driving a taxi, no other job in the nation has been more likely to get you killed than working at a convenience store, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,” reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Convenience stores are easy targets. They’re open 24/7 and when most robberies occur - 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. - the stores are quiet. Two clerks - or one - on duty. Few customers. And the cash registers are always near the door. Very convenient.
As someone who stops at 7-Elevens almost daily - don’t judge, I have a Slurpee habit - here’s some excellent news:
A customer, who shot and killed an armed robber and injured another gunman in Virginia Beach last week won’t face criminal charges.
That’s good. Because he didn’t commit a crime. He stopped one..
I’m not advocating shoot-outs in 7-Elevens. But every once in a while a skilled marksman takes out the bad guys and it’s gratifying when prosecutors have the good sense not to lodge criminal charges against the law-abiding gun owner.
Back to that tape measure. All convenience store clerks are taught to watch a robber on his way out to get an accurate description of the thief. An accurate height, anyway. When crooks wear masks, identification is trickier.
And that was the situation in Tidewater last week when masked armed robbers set out on a crime spree, hitting 7-Eleven after 7-Eleven in a single night, according to police.
A convenience store on South Newtown Road was their last.
Two of the hoodlums entered the store, brandishing guns. One gunman stayed by the door, another went behind the counter and started grabbing money out of the till.
But this was not their night.
What these robbers didn’t expect was a customer in the back of the store with what the police said was a “legal gun,” a concealed carry permit, and a deadeye.
He opened fire, killing one gunman and shooting the other in the neck.
The police arrived a few minutes later.
Prosecutors charged the injured man and another accomplice - presumably the getaway driver - with armed robbery.
The unnamed citizen who put an end to their crime spree wasn’t identified by authorities this week because he did nothing wrong.
According to a local TV station, another customer who was in the store during the robbery is seeking the identity of the “hero” so she can thank him. She started a Facebook page and was raising funds for the man in anticipation of possible criminal charges against him.
She can give that money back.
This is the second time in two years that a Virginia Beach 7-Eleven robber was shot. In June of 2017, an armed clerk in a Kellam Road convenience store shot and injured an armed robber.
Last’s week bandits were 18. A third suspect who was uninjured was 19.
It’s tragic when teenagers wind up dead and bleeding on the floor of a convenience store. But when punks use a gun in the commission of a crime, they risk running into their worst nightmare: A good guy with a gun and good aim.