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Defend Thyself Personal Defense

Mom Disarms Son to Thwart Armed Robbery

by Richard Nance   |  July 10th, 2012 34

ABC News reported that on Tuesday, July 3, 22-year-old Roy Mitchell entered D’s One Stop Food Mart in Brandon, Miss., with his mother, Sharron Mitchell, following close behind. Roy approached the counter, presumably to pay for a bag of chips, but when the clerk opened the cash register to place Roy’s money inside, Roy produced what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun, which he pointed at her. Roy demanded the clerk give him the money from the register, but his plan was thwarted by an unlikely culprit – his mother.

Sharron approached her son from behind as he pointed his gun at the clerk. She reached over his shoulder and grabbed the gun, disarming her son. Sharron apologized to the clerk, explaining that the gun was not real, and asked the clerk not to report the incident to police. The clerk did call police, however, and the mother and son were apprehended about 20 minutes later. A search of their vehicle subsequent to a traffic stop lead to the discovery of the “fake” plastic pistol used by Roy during the attempted armed robbery.

Roy was booked into the Rankin County Jail for attempted armed robbery on a $300,000 bond.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeXIOnXTe48

Assistant Brandon Mississippi Police Chief, Chris Butts, described Sharron’s actions as follows: “The mother sees the commotion, grabs the gun out of the boy’s hand and pushes him out of the store. I kind of feel like she’s somewhat of a little hero. If the clerk had a gun, it could have been real messy.”

In recent years, the prevalence of realistic airsoft guns has created some serious concerns for police and legally armed citizens alike. In some cases, even in a close, side-by-side comparison, it’s difficult to differentiate between an airsoft replica and the genuine firearm it was modeled after. Tragically, this has led to adults, and in some cases children, playing with “toy” guns and being shot.                                                 

As in this case, criminals sometimes use an airsoft gun to emulate a real firearm. Perhaps this is because an airsoft gun is cheaper and easier to obtain than a real gun, or it may be that the criminal assumes that emulating a weapon during a crime will lessen their sentence as compared to using a real gun.

While no police officer or legally armed citizen wants to shoot someone who doesn’t present a deadly threat, we have to assume that if a seemingly real gun is pointed at us, it’s real and it’s loaded. If you wait for confirmation of either factor, it’s likely to be the last mistake you ever make.

As if the possibility of confusing an airsoft gun for a real gun wasn’t enough of a challenge, there’s another emerging trend that is just as scary — real guns specifically designed to resemble airsoft or other types of “toy” guns.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Richard Nance
  • https://www.facebook.com/FixDaComp Chris Lowe

    I'm a gun owner, collector, and shooter – As an enthusiast, I'd be VERY interested to know just what firearms are being designed to look like airsoft toys. Sorry, Mr. Nance, but I have to call BS on that one.

    • Dennis

      me too – state your source, and name those specific firearms that are being manufactured to look like toys. You just can't make stuff up, pal.

    • Bill K

      Chris and others. Read, Air soft guns are being designed to look like real gun, not the other way around. If you go into the store and check them out, they do look very life like.
      Of course the police should be observant and be sure before shooting. Most of the replicas have the red tips.

      • Carl W.

        Bill K. – Read:

        As if the possibility of confusing an airsoft gun for a real gun wasn’t enough of a challenge, there’s another emerging trend that is just as scary — real guns specifically designed to resemble airsoft or other types of “toy” guns.

        This is the last paragraph of the article. They were asking for specific models of firearms that were supposedly designed to look like airsoft or toy guns. I haven't seen any either.

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.mayer.73345 Michael Mayer

        if it looks like a gun and is pointed at you, then consider it real. Anyone could paint the muzzle of a real gun red or vice versa paint red tip black or black tape. Ask yourself if your willing to bet your life that it's not real. the police won't. they'll shoot, and i wouldn't feel bad for the fool.

      • Alan_T

        LAST PARAGRAPH OF THE BLOG
        Quote ,
        " As if the possibility of confusing an airsoft gun for a real gun wasn’t enough of a challenge, there’s another emerging trend that is just as scary — real guns specifically designed to resemble airsoft or other types of “toy” guns. " Close quote .

    • Kevin

      Really Chris? I have a pink Sig Mosquito .22 that will kill you dead. Most people that see it thinks that it is an AIRSOFT. Mr. Nance is right on the money.

      • Sgt Greg

        Pink? OOOOH!

        • Alan_T

          Pink ? Ooooooooooow ! thay ….. I want one in chartreuse !
          No wait , sailor , I want one in magenta ! ! !
          HAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Alan_T

            To paraphrase Steely Dan , Who is that gaucho amigo , why is he standing there in your spangled leather poncho with the rhinestones that match your eyes ….. and your pink Mosquito ?
            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Alan_T

            No offense intended Kevin …… I'm just having some fun . You're dead right about your Sig .

    • http://www.facebook.com/carlosthomas.murphy Carlos Thomas Murphy

      When as a LEO or CCW, anyone points a gun at you, real or not, you need to always treat it as real, because in the time you are inspecting, BANG !!!! YOUR DEAD !!!!!

      The real issue is not what looks real or does not, if Airsoft is or real guns look like Airsoft, it is the soft headed idiots robbing people that is the real problem…

  • Johnny

    I hope the judge is lenient on him, considering all of the other prisoners will recognize him as the robber who got taken down by his own mother. Poor kid will probably do 7 years, plus years of drug tests (probation) plus the harrassment of all the other prisoners who will all know about this clip during the prison time.

    • https://www.facebook.com/liam.mccumber Liam McCumber

      I hope the judge is not lenient on him, if nothing else for the fear he instilled on that poor clerk. Whether the gun was real or a toy, Roy Mitchell's intent was armed robbery. Maybe word will get out that having a 'fake' gun will not make things easier on the criminals. If the clerk were lawfully armed, she would have been justified in using deadly force to stop the robbery. 22 years old is an adult, not a kid. I hope he enjoys the rest of his new life in the big house, which is where he belongs.

    • william

      so what? he commited a felony, he should get the full rap.

    • Alan_T

      I hope you were being sarcastic Johnny . This CRIMINALLY STUPID criminal , could have just easily gotten someone shot / killed !
      He needs to do the full weight in the joint !

  • Tyler

    I agree with Chris Lowe. I've never seen a real firearm designed to look like an airsoft or toy gun. In fact, I am very big in playing airsoft, and I see things like this happen and it saddens me that people are so stupid as to use them for harm, or to have them in public. Don't attack the hobby of airsoft, attack the people who don't deserve to own them. It's like trying to shut down the spoon producing business, because their product fed people ice cream and made theem obese and die of diabetes.

  • Richard Nance

    I'm afraid it's true guys. I've seen law enforcement briefs pertaining to real guns made to look like "toys" based on their color and other features. A quick internet search should make my point. It's really not too hard to believe that a criminal would disguise a real gun as a toy to get the drop on a cop or legally armed citizen. Their intent would obviously be to create a moment of hesitation, giving them the upper hand.

    As for air soft, I use it frequently in training. In fact I was shot up by Mas Ayoob two days ago while filming a segment for Personal Defense TV. My intent was not to criticize air soft but rather to make people aware that air soft guns can be mistaken for real guns and in some isolated cases, the opposite may be true.

    Be safe,

    Richard Nance

    • Vought

      Richard, The problem is with how you worded the following sentence:
      "there’s another emerging trend that is just as scary — real guns specifically DESIGNED [emphasis added] to resemble airsoft or other types of “toy” guns."
      The word "designed" suggests that manufacturers are making real guns that look like toys. This is not the case. Criminals are painting real guns to look like toys. You should probably post a correction to your article.
      Thanks.

      • Richard Nance

        Vought,

        Point taken. Perhaps "altered" would have been a better choice of words. Thanks for your input!

        Be safe,

        Richard Nance

        • Dennis

          then I retract my desultory comment based on your 'retraction'.

        • Vought

          Richard,

          Most writers (and most people for that matter) tend to disregard constructive criticism, so I appreciate your reply. Have a great day.

      • Wolvie

        I agree with both of you guys.

        Richard,

        I have seen some of those real guns dressed up to look like a toy (a certain neon green and orange Tec-9 comes to mind…). But Vought is correct in the way it was written in the article, it seems to state that manufacturers are specifically and intentionally designing them that way.

        However, this is nothing new. As a matter of fact, disguising guns to look innocuous is almost as old as firearms themselves…as a matter of fact, they pre-date autoloaders, the self-contained cartridge, etc. Pen guns, pocket watch guns, the OSS glove-gun, belt buckle guns, cane/umbrella guns, briefcase guns…there are many examples of guns specifically and intentionally designed to look like something else. Hell, can you even look at a Thompson without thinking of a violin case?

        So, I really don't see it as an "emerging trend"…but more of a word of caution that these things continue to exist…be it from the manufacturer or from a thug with a can of spray paint

        • Richard Nance

          Wolvie,

          Great info! Thanks.

          Be safe,

          Richard Nance

    • Wolvie

      Richard,

      On a related note, Mas just posted his new artiicle today about filming those PDTV segments:
      http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2012/0…

      So, while he shot you up with the airsoft…it looks like you got some licks in as well!

      Nice work, guys! I ope you had fun!

  • Johnny

    I agree with Richard Nance and Vought and they agree with me as well!

  • Frank L. Grossmann

    These days I would come down on the side of the clerk having access to a gun in, or next to, the the cash drawer. A person buying a bag of chips has no reason to try to steal; if he chooses that route, then one shot (two professionally) and the problem is solved and an awful amount of money is saved on court procedures. Full marks to the mother, but how did she raise her son so he would even think of attempting such an action?

  • mikkidog

    If my Mom interrupted me in the middle of a robbery, I'd have had a time out, been made to wear a dunce cap, and been grounded for a week with no TV!

  • MotoJB

    What kind of family is this where the son thinks it was somehow just OK or no big deal to rob a store with his mamma there? Geebus H Christy. Unbelievable. Scumbags.

  • T.D. Honeycutt

    Keep 'em coming Richard. Enjoy your scenarios. I had a guy point a cellular telephone at me at the same time he was screaming "I will kill you." Looked just like a snubby revolver at first glance. Still gives me chills how I waited a scooch to decide it really wasn't a snubby, and didn't point my own revolver at him and his girlfriend.
    He was reaching over his girlfriend in the car when he mimicked a gun, so both would have been in the line of fire. She was telling him to stop, and didn't deserve to be caught up in his rage.
    So, stupid people can do stupid things with objects that look like weapons – or are weapons. And all hell can break loose.

  • MotoJB

    "I kind of feel like she’s somewhat of a little hero" WTF?!?!?! A hero? Raising a boy that thinks he can do that, with his MOM there?!?!? Oh yeah, she's a true little hero, isn't she. Oh and I'd bet that she's FAR from little, too.

  • c carson

    I agree to agree.

  • Sgt Greg

    can't do the time, don't do the crime…

  • Alan_T

    I'm kind of wondering if Roy Mitchell might not be mentally disabled , aside from just being plain stupid .
    I mean , he had the money to buy the chips and how many men do you know that still go to the stop 'n rob with their mother at 22 years of age , let alone pull out a toy gun and do it IN FRONT of his mother ?
    AND , the mother KNEW it was a toy !
    I am NOT defending him , he NEEDS to be charged ….. but the whole thing strikes me as being bizarre .

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