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Read & React: Armed Robber Shot Dead by Indy Gun Store Clerk

by Richard Nance   |  September 21st, 2012 47
Dons Guns

Photo by Matt Detrich/The Indianapolis Star

According to WRTV, 26-year-old Indianapolis resident Brian Wayner entered Don’s Guns in Indianapolis on Monday and rented a gun. Moments later, at approximately 12:21 p.m., the man fired two rounds, at least one of which struck the clerk, Ben Chance. Chance returned fire, killing the man with one shot.

“If you shoot us, we’ll shoot right back”, said the store’s owner, Don Davis, in defense of his employee’s actions. Chance, who had worked at Don’s Guns for about 15 years, was in critical condition after the shooting, but expected to live.

Davis said there was no indication the customer who rented the gun was going to shoot Chance. “Nothing was said. Not one word.”

“This is a crazy business. We chose it. We know what we are doing,” Davis said.

Check out this video from WISH-TV in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is still investigating the shooting. Wayner apparently arrived in a rental car, which was parked directly in front of Don’s Guns. Police would not comment on Davis’ description of the incident, which as it turns out, could have been much worse.

Gillase and Debra Samples had been inside Don’s Guns about 10 minutes before the shooting. Debra intended to purchase a shotgun, but since she forgot her identification, she and Gillase had to drive home to retrieve it. When they returned a few minutes later, the store was a crime scene cordoned off by police.

“It scared me to death. We just left. They could have been waiting for us to leave. They could’ve shot us too”, said Gillase.

With the limited information available, it’s hard to know whether Chance had any indication that the customer he rented a gun to would shoot him. However, given that Chance had worked in the gun store for 15 years, we have to assume he was familiar with “normal” customer behavior and would have keyed on any red flags which might indicate Wayner would turn the gun on him. Common sense would lead one to believe that if Chance had any reservations, he would not have handed Wayner a gun.

What we do know is despite being shot and critically wounded, Chance drew his firearm and returned accurate fire, stopping the threat and killing his adversary with a single round. Unfortunately, there are times when the first indication that a person is in a gunfight is when they’re shot. That’s why it’s critical that we add injured shooter drills, such as drawing and firing with your offhand and from the ground to our training curriculum. For the same reason, we must also be able to reload and clear a malfunction one-handed.

Can you imagine being inside Don’s Gun’s during the shooting? How would you have responded if you were in line behind the man who shot the clerk? Would your response be different if while shooting at the range inside Don’s Guns, you heard gunfire or actually saw the gunfight between the customer the clerk? What if a loved one was with you on the range at the time of the shooting?

What are your thoughts?

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