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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?

  • Mannie

    Too bad about the clerk. At least no one was killed.

    • USMC Vet

      Exactly…Too bad he got hurt.

    • CieraBiv

      the suspect was killed

      • Cynical

        well, that would be no one that did not deserve it…

      • Joe

        The suspect wasn't a person.

        • jason

          How is the suspect not a person? Is it a robot? Or did the clerk shoot himself? Man, you are stupid!!!

  • Trudy Lewis

    Thankfully the good guy had a gun too, and is still alive. Also I'm very thankful right now, that it still stands that, the good guys with guns out number the bad guys with guns…and I hope it stays this way!

  • dennis

    rent a gun,,,,,,how long a wait on a rental,,,,,good clerk i was just curious

    • dennis

      im really glad outcome turned out GOOD,hope clerk is ok….As far as renting a gun,,should'n there be some kind of supervision,,idk…..Im a gun owner,club member,cc permit,u name it……..I have 2 fill out forms,take classes,test,backround checks,i could go on and on,and dont have a problem with it…….U just hand a gun 2 a stranger and say here's some ammo,,u go have fun now,,,something is wrong with this picture…………

      • Bob

        You sound like a member of the Brady Bunch. It didn't occur to you that any perp could walk in off the street and commit the same crime with a gun that they carried into the store?

        • dennis

          no ALICE,,i dont like alot of laws,,u do hav 2 admit one law leads 2 another,,im totally NRA,we do hav 2 try 2 do something b4 idiots like the gun store robber messes it up 4 everybody!!!!And the thief on the streets with his gun,,he will meet his match also,,laws definitely aint working against the criminals,,,send ur suggestions to your NRA LOCAL,,,,i dont no what 2 tell you,,Dennis

          • John

            dennis is a troll

          • dennis

            we r all on the same side,,,,im talkn about gun owners,,,,i dont thk ic 2many,anti-gun people on this site,,,,,,,they r the ones we all hav 2 stick 2gethr and BEWARE of !!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Bob

            I'll second that.

          • Bob

            Just for clarification, I'm seconding the "dennis is a troll" comment.

  • Mr. Smith

    Good on Chance but too bad he had to take one before putting that jack__s down!

  • tina

    excellent reflex action from the clerk!! this idiot's paycheck probably comes from the administration in D.C.-they really want the guns. They are really good at manufacturing a crisis when they need one.

  • Streaker

    All's well that ends with a dead robber/shooter and a live victim. It speaks volumes about the value of proper firearm training.

  • Sheryl

    I knew a guy that never ever should have owned a gun & I made darn sure especially after he went for it in one of his drunken stages that that gun disappeared. I'm a responsible 53 yr old female that lives alone back up in the mountains & know how to use my firearm. But I would rather not have to use it & I was afraid with him I would. I have never regretted getting that gun out of his possession. I was just shocked that a retired sheriff officer/vietnam vet sold it to him without doing it legal. He regretted it & he is the one that saved my life that day. Obviously this guy that went in to that store never should have put his hands on a gun either. But most people don't & can't tell the depth of the to be gun owners emotional status. This guy had a lot of people fooled of his anger while drinking. Hats off to the clerk for quick responsible thinking.

    • Navy Vet

      How do you RENT a gun anyway. That makes No since to me.

      • Dianne C Veltum

        It's to use inside the firing range, not to take off the premesis. idk why it was loaded in the store, they don't let you load them till you get inside the range. Obviously the guy wanted to die.

      • Hooty

        Really? Your comment makes no SINSE to me.

        • Shooter

          You can rent a gun from a firing range to shoot at the range — not to take home.

      • Jerry

        I am a Viet Vet: You go inside, choose which pistol/auto you want to shoot, show your ID, sign a "release," buy the ammo, then go shooting at the inside range. I've done several times. :)

      • Randy Dowdy

        You rent the gun ONLY to use on their practice range. Then, the gun show hopes when you find one to your liking you will buy it from them. you can't leave the premises with a rental. Simple, actually.

        • Mark E. Johnson

          And I would just bet there is a dealer close-by who can sell you a gun just like or similar to the one you just rented. You will have to also go throught the checking process applicable to your state and the federal check, but you don't have to attend a gun show to do so. Gun shows are great for observing the culture and occasionally for buying arms.

  • Chris

    Navy Vet, a lot of gun stores have ranges in the back and you can rent guns from them to try out. I live in California, and though I love this state, I hate its gun laws, they make it really expenvice to buy a gun. Thats why I enjoy going to local stores and renting. It allows me to try out different weapons and not go fully broke in the process.

    As for this article, I'm glad the clerk is alive, and the gunman dead. Who knows how many more poeple the gunman could have shot has he not been stopped so quickly.

    • Chris


    • Jerry

      Army Viet Vet: I agree, however, we need some sort "control" on gun registration, etc. to eliminate as many people like the guy who shot first, above. Not everyone upholds the law.

      • Bob

        An armed society is a polite society

      • wasajco

        Jerry, you think that criminals, or someone who is going to commit a crime EVER obeys the law? It is a real nice thought, but criminals COUNT on law abiding folks to obey, so they can do what they want. It's called legal positivism, and it has never worked in the entire history of mankind. Sad, but true. If only a law could stop someone, it would be great, but it ain't so, and never will be. Damn government schools keep teaching that Utopian crap tho, so we keep trying to believe it.

      • Neon

        Sounds like we are getting into the Costas uninformed weeds again. This guy could have rented a car or gone to CarMax or took a test drive and go mow someone down. Are we going to do background checks at car rental agencies or dealer? Try the behavior not the mechanical object..

  • Navy Vet

    sounds like suicide by gun shop employee. Instead of suicide by COP. Hope the Clerk recovers quickly.

  • Thorn

    @ Jerry
    How do you regulate crazy?…..if the perp had no priors, then it would be impossible to know…..they don't do a back-ground check at the range for a rental…..

    • John

      I think Jerry meant it as a joke.

  • Joel

    Thank God this store clerk had the skills, even after being wounded, to put down his assailant. Let's hope he heals quickly. It isn't always easy to tell when someone is nuts or what are their intentions. However, there's one gun shop in my town that I won't patronize precisely because I know that they sold an obviously looney character a Ruger LC-9 because, no doubt, he had no police or mental commitment record. I know the guy personally and if you met him you would realize instantly that he's nutty as a fruitcake. He's also the type of person who goes into irrational rages, in other words the type to someday show up and just start shooting. It's obvious to anyone who meets him, yet this gun shop owner sold him a gun. I discussed this with a couple of other shop owners who agreed this is precisely the type of person they would never sell to. Regardless of what the NRA says, not everyone is entitled to own a gun.

    • dennis

      we could all go on and on,,,,,sounds like the only choice we hav is hope 4 the NRA,,,,Or u can get suicidal like the whako nWaco,,,,dis-cretion is good at times,like at airports,texas border,or when i hav a buddie who wants to buy a firearm from me and i hav to tell him nothings 4 sale BECAUSE i no and i can see that he really dont need one

      • dennis


  • Randy Dowdy

    Another Darwin award recipient! And soceity, as well as the gene pool, is improved. No big loss there, but I am so sorry for the pain and suffering of the employee.

  • Matty G

    Lesson here is: Don't F with Don's Guns! Ha…ok ok not a laughing matter but this shows that training with your gun is your best bet in defending yourself, even when wounded. Just owning or having one around really isn't enough. Mr. Chance put himself in the best position possible to defend himself and others for that matter, and fought back even though he had taken a bullet.

  • Mpm

    This is where every state needs the DEATH PENALTY! And execute within 24 months. It would deter useless killings. Prayers are with MR Chance. Glad he got another bad guy off the streets. More and more people need to take up arms and defend themselves against these ruthless killers. Our justice system is no good.

  • rchguns

    Considering that I have barely concealed carry permit holder for better than 22 years, and ex-deputy sheriff not to mention the veteran there would be only one course of action. That would've been to intervene and render assistance to the clerk by hopefully doing with the clerk and only sooner.
    If for no other reason that a person is so stupid as to walk into a gun store with a firing range and try to use a rented gun to commit a crime in the same store. How anyone could be that stupid is totally beyond me. This tells me that the world is a lot better off without that person still being in the gene pool pass on his stupidity!

  • BJC

    All I can say is I hope Mr. Chance recovers from his injury quickly and is not negatively affected physically or mentally from having to use deadly force on another person. He should be commended by his community and pier's. A bonus from his boss wouldn't hurt either.

  • Illinois Resident

    What was this guy expecting. If you don't think the guy behind the counter of a gun shop is not going to have the upper hand on you that you need to jump off the bridge!!! I hope the clerk pulls through and returns to work soon. Guns don't kill people, stupid people do. Use some common sense!!!

  • Mack Missiletoe

    Yup! More than one reason the Clerks are happily armed:

    1) They ENJOY guns
    2) They work at an 'arsenal'
    3) Good chance they have Military or Police training
    4) They most likely practice for, and are prepared for, attacks such as this
    5) They [probably] have choice personal picks of the guns they can use legally to defend themselves

    The clerks aren't packin' second-hand Weenie Whistles, folks! Unless they want to… at which I'd probably be even more scared haha.

    Sam in the corner may have the latest polymer 20-shot but Bob at the counter with his old Ruger six shooter will only use one shot, spit, grab a cup of Joe, then mumble something about the latest political goof. 5 minutes later the Police arrive

    Now that I think of it, my favorite gun store has at least 5 armed clerks. Last time I visited, one looked like a beast of a Police Officer, though he was wearing plain clothes. If I were a bad guy, I wouldn't have messed with him… guy was at least TWICE my size AND armed XD

    It is suicide going into a gun store like mine and thinking you're gonna do anything. I am sad the clerk was injured so. One of my dreams is to work in a gun shop. This could happen to anyone and at any time, but it is foolish to target a place full of law-abiding shooters

    I am pondering getting a CCW license myself. Don't see any reason not to, and I stay out of trouble

    But trouble could come to us and it's nice to have options. The Samples couple were blessed to have left the scene before Chance crapped into the fan

    How would I have responded? Duck and cover immediately! Notify Police and get the heck out if possible

  • C_Diggs

    I bet there were several handguns drawn at the first shot. Prayers for the clerk. Good riddance to the perp. I'm pretty sure (never done it), at the first shot I would have drawn my legaly carried pistol (SW#39), hid, then waited for either the cops to show or someone to point a gun at me-and at that point I would have fired. I got my CHL, not to be a cop, but to protect my butt, and the butts of my loved ones.

  • NorskeDiv

    Mannie said it all, just change it a bit:

    “Too bad about the clerk, at least no human beings were killed”

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