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Clerk Says ‘No’ to Armed Robber in Missouri

by Richard Nance   |  December 28th, 2011 18

Armed robberAn armed robber was in for quite a surprise recently when he tried to rob the Herd’s North Service Station in Monett, Mo. The robber was certainly dressed for the occasion, wearing all black clothing including gloves and a stocking cap.  He even wore a Halloween mask and was armed with a rifle. But apparently, the female clerk did not take him seriously.

When the robber entered the store at 8:20 p.m. Dec. 18, he demanded that the clerk open the cash register, but she refused. This prompted the robber to point the rifle at the clerk and threaten to shoot her. When the clerk again refused to open the cash register, the presumably confused robber fled the scene without any loot.

Fortunately for the clerk, her unusual tactic played out perfectly in this scenario. Apparently this criminal was not prepared to up the ante from armed robbery to murder. Had the robber been more committed to his cause, he could have simply shot the clerk and either opened the register or carried it away with him.

When dealing with a desperate criminal, you may be forced to make a split second decision as to whether to comply, fight back or escape. This involves a “risk versus reward” analysis. In the case described above, the clerk would probably have incurred less risk by opening the cash register for the robber, the rationale being that when the robber has the money, there’s a very good chance he would leave. No matter how much money was in the till, it could not compare to the clerk’s life. Therefore, saving her employers’ money was not sufficient reward for her to have risked her life by refusing to open the cash register.

Keep in mind, however, that compliance with a criminal does not necessarily assure your safety. Had the clerk complied and given the robber the cash from the register, who is to say he wouldn’t have shot her to prevent her from providing information to authorities, or possibly testifying against him a court proceeding subsequent to his eventual arrest?

Now, if the robber had attempted to kidnap the clerk in order to transport her to another location, she would probably be better off making her stand in the store, where at least someone may come to her aid. Chances are Crime Scene 2 will be a remote area, where your odds of escape are dismal. In such case, it would seem that the robber’s intent was to harm you anyway, so the risk of fighting back seems more reasonable.

What would you do if you were the clerk at Herd’s North Service Station that night? What if, while legally carrying a concealed handgun, you walked into the store and saw the robber pointing a rifle at the clerk? Would you offer a verbal challenge, shoot the robber or be a “good witness” unless he pointed the rifle at you?

  • Ryan Jones

    Unless its my store I'm letting the guy have the cash. If he's risking 5-10 years for 300 bucks at best then by all means the idiot can have it.

  • JeR

    In my case, when I entered the store the robber was holding a pistol at the clerk. I pulled my gun and yell at him to drop down. He look at my gun then turn and run out. I did not tried to stop him or run after him. When he took flight where was no more danger. I lay my pistol on the counter for police to see. The woman clerk was all right but very shaken. I notice the robbery when I was filling my car and I had my pistol in the car returning from shooting match. The gun was unloaded and not a loaded clip but I buff the robber anyway. I believe the robber's gun was empty too.

  • Peter Lake

    If a serious robber had a serious rifle there's no protective cover for you in a convenience store to stop a bullet. You could find concealment, but not cover that would stop a .30+ bullet.
    Try hiding behind some display and the bullet would go right through it.

    And to those who think just because a felony has already occurred (pointing the rifle and demanding money) and therefore you're justified in shooting, you'd better be prepared for the headline "Teenager shot in back by patron. Grieving mother jumps into grave, then sues."

    If you shoot it had best be from the front or don't do it at all.
    Yell, "Police! Drop your weapon!" and if he turns on you, start shooting.

    If you do nothing there's no reason to believe he's not going to shoot the clerk and everyone else in the store. It's happened and hoping the crook is an honest crook who will take the money and then abide by the contract, "Your money or your life" is a fool's assumption.
    It can just as well be "Your money AND your life."

    You MUST assume that anyone pointing a gun intends to use it.
    Any other assumption is foolish.

  • Alan Z…

    Seriously? Simply walking into the store wearing all black, a mask, and carrying a firearm makes him a threat; announcing "this is a robbery!" confirms it. Shoot immediately!

  • Riley12

    Can anyone name the make and model of the pistol pictured in this article?

    • Janis Petke

      Weihrauch HW-40.

  • Mike

    Ive been told that a between the eyes shot is designed to bypass the squeeze and shoot reflex and is the best hostage takedown.

  • Antonio

    My concern is always when someone else is involved. I can take care of myself, but I'm not LE and not sure of my ability to protect another. Even though my intuition has proven itself to be capable of helping others (as it was during 911), proficiency in a gun battle is another question. I don't know what I would do (I can't carry in my state) but I wonder if the act of drawing a gun might incite the criminal to open fire, whereas by not drawing, s/he might just flee and nobody gets hurt. Playing "what if" with others' lives is tough.

  • Jim Texas/California

    Draw and aim and see what his next move was…if he put the gun to the girl or myself or anyone at all, fire until the target has been dropped and disarmed. Then tend to the girl and let her know my intentions to protect her and myself. Open the chamber and set the gun down near enough that i could easily and quickly get to it and call 911.
    Jim Texas/California

  • JeR

    At time I was just back from fighting in Vietnam, there is no fear in me if man shot at me. There was no time to load a clip and ammo has storied away from the pistol. Just like in Vietnam I went in low and fast. For he had no time to react to new force. He was just young teen about 16. He was so afraid and scare.

    • VFW/OIF

      MANY Thanks to you for serving! I respect the hell out of you guys for the bravery that was displayed.

      As far as the situation, it was definitely a dangerous move. Way to overwhelm him with the "low and fast" though! Low "pucker" factor and a level head holds testament to the fearlessness instilled in our bold men and women at arms. Good job, Warrior!

  • Kweym7777

    No Police……..Please…

  • Dale

    There are many things to consider and you only have seconds to act. You have better made up your mind and have a support system (attorney and insurance) in place before acting. Depending on the area and laws you made be charged and sued not only by the perp or his relatives if you shoot him but, by the victim of the robbery and the company that owns the store. Most stores have video so it will be recorded for all to see. You are totally responsible for anything that may happen if you act. It will be a life altering experience if you act. This worked out the best way, no robbery and no one hurt. New laws are getting better but, be careful, be a good witness, and act ONLY when its unavoidable. Carry the largest caliber (38spl/9mm-minimun) you can shoot accurately and Good Luck to You !

  • Dave

    Any shot that gets the medulla oblongata will actuate the "dishrag" effect: instant total neural shutdown; they drop like the proverbial dishrag, goo'night.
    Take a styrofoam wig-mannikin (unless you can afford an actual anatomical model of the human head) and draw a dot between the eyes, then another dot on either side at the ear-canal. Now draw a straight line all the way around the head, neatly intersecting all three dots. Any projectile of acceptably high velocity to penetrate the cranium, with sufficient residual energy after penetrating, which enters the head on the geometric plane described by your line will "dishrag" your subject.
    From the rear aspect, a round through the C1 vertebrae will have the same effect, and is usually an easier target to acquire.

  • Mack Missiletoe

    Rubber Band Gun, Civilian, Mod 0.

  • frontsight

    That's the problem with this society. We just let people walk all over us with no fight. The criminals see this all over the news media how everyone just gives up, and hands over the money. Now because the moronic media has to relay this info to everyone, including would be criminals, they see that as a society, people will just give up, making it easier for them to rob you. We need less laws protecting criminals and more laws protecting the good guy! I see more of a trend now of people handing over the cash, and still getting shot. So, my friends, I am fighting my ass off! I would rather die fighting, that die doing nothing!

  • Peter A. Lake

    Colonel Cooper reminded us, "If a criminal says 'your money or your life' then of course you want to give him the money and save your life. But keep in mind that you're trying to make a fair deal with an demonstrably unfair person and he feels no obligation to keep his end of the bargain."

    So if you hand over the money don't cry 'foul' if you still get shot.

  • Janis Petke

    The robber in the stock picture uses a Weihrauch air pistol

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