It’s likely that many people who have a Right-to-Carry permit have, at one time or another, said to themselves something along the lines of, “I won’t need to carry my gun. I’m just running down to the grocery store for a few things.”
Not so fast. Grocery stores just might not be as safe as you think. Following are six episodes where armed citizens used their firearms to protect themselves and others in grocery stores.
A 24-year-old man drove a stolen truck to Cobb’s Grocery in Richwoods, Mo., entered the store, drew a canister of mace and a knife, and demanded money. Kenny Cobb was inside the store at the time, and responded to the situation by drawing a gun and firing at the criminal, striking him in the abdomen. The robber fled the scene in the stolen truck, but was captured by police a short time later.
The armed robber should have known not to attempt to rob Cobb’s Grocery, as the store proudly displays signs about the Second Amendment and armed self-defense in a front window. A neighbor shared a similar sentiment while speaking with a local news outlet about Ron Cobb, Kenny’s father and owner of the store, stating, “Everybody knows he’s got weapons and that … You don’t rob that man. No one around here, they know better for years; he’s been a retired police officer and firefighter.” (FOX2now, St. Louis, Mo., 4/8/14)
Manager Joe Cho was working in the office of Pepe’s Grocery and Deli in Dallas, Texas, when two armed men wearing bandanas entered the store and demanded money from a cashier. Cho responded by retrieving a .38-caliber revolver and firing at the criminals, who returned fire and fled. None of Cho’s employees were hurt during the incident.
Cho’s decision to provide for the defense of himself and his employees proved to be a wise one. Following the attempted robbery, Cho notified the police, telling them, “Hey, we got robbed, I need police as soon as possible.” “As soon as possible” turned out to be about an hour and 20 minutes later. (The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, 5/6/13)
Roger Webster, owner of Webster’s Store, and a female customer were standing in front of the store when two men approached and forced them back into the store. Webster and the customer were held at gunpoint and ordered to give up money from the cash register. Webster complied. When the men demanded even more money, Webster motioned as if retrieving more cash, but instead retrieved his handgun from the register and fired several rounds at the armed suspect. Both men fled. Neither Webster nor the customer was harmed. (Dorchester Banner, Cambridge, Md., 11/2/12)
A crazed man entered a Smith’s grocery store in Salt Lake City, Utah, purchased a knife, exited the store and began stabbing nearby customers while yelling, “You killed my people.” The criminal viciously attacked two patrons before a man with a Right-to-Carry permit arrived on the scene, drew his gun and ordered the attacker to drop the knife. The criminal complied, which allowed other bystanders to subdue the attacker until police could arrive. Salt Lake City Police have hailed the armed citizen as a hero who likely saved lives, with Lt. Brian Purvis noting, “This was a volatile situation that could have gotten worse. We can only assume from what we saw it could have gotten worse. He was definitely in the right place at the right time.” An investigation revealed that the knife-wielding man has a lengthy criminal record with convictions for criminal trespass, attempted aggravated assault, attempted aggravated assault on a police officer, and sexual battery and lewdness. The attacker’s latest stint in jail occurred less than a week before the rampage, after he was arrested for joyriding and possessing false identification. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 4/27/12; KTVX, Salt Lake City, Utah, 4/27/12)
As Nazir Al-Mujaahid entered an Aldi grocery store with his wife, he saw a man approach the cashiers with a shotgun and demand money. Having just obtained his concealed-carry permit in January, Al-Mujaahid drew his semi-automatic 9 mm handgun after motioning to another customer to move away. When the suspect turned toward him, pointing the shotgun directly at him, Al-Mujaahid fired several shots, striking the robber in the head and leg. The robber dropped the shotgun and fled; he and an accomplice were later arrested after being treated for injuries. (Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., 2/3/12)
While a 21-year-old store clerk was working his shift at Balwi Food Market one afternoon, 31-year-old Urban Anderson entered the store wearing a ski mask and wielding a knife. When Anderson began swinging the knife, the store employee was quick to grab the rifle kept behind the counter for protection. The employee forced Anderson to the ground and kept him there until police arrived. Anderson was then arrested and charged with attempted robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The employee suffered cuts to his arms and was treated at a local hospital. (The Post-Standard, Syracuse, N.Y., 1/7/12)