The Armed Citizen® Barbershops & Hair Salons

posted on May 19, 2016

Barbershops and salons are some of the best places to spend a couple hours relaxing and trading the latest news from around town. But unfortunately, these establishments aren’t just visited by people looking for a new ’do, as these stylists and owners found out.

Lloyd Cross, who owns Cross Cuts barber shop in Philadelphia, Pa., was forced to defend himself against an armed robber. While Cross’ 9-year-old son played in a back room of the shop, an armed robber entered the front and demanded money. In an attempt to appease the man, Cross handed him some money, but the robber, unsatisfied with the amount, demanded more. A struggle ensued in which Cross pulled out his gun and fired, striking the robber and ceasing the attack. After the attack, Cross called 911. The robber was taken to the hospital, were he was listed in critical condition. (WPV1, Philadelphia, Pa., 11/13/2008) 

A Blue Island, Ill., hair salon owner shot and killed a man who broke into his shop late one Sunday night. The salon owner told police his family was asleep in their home, located behind the salon, when they heard a door being kicked in. The owner, armed with his shotgun, went to investigate. When he opened the door between his house and shop, he found a man standing in the connecting hallway. As the intruder advanced, the owner warned him to stop, but the man kept coming. Finally, the owner fired, then called 911. The suspect may have been responsible for two previous break-ins at the salon. (Daily Southtown, Tinley Park, Ill., 12/4/2001) 

On a Tuesday afternoon, Rockford, Ill., barber William Cross was cutting hair as he has for 34 years, when two masked men entered his shop. One man pointed a gun at Cross and said, “Give it up!” When Cross asked what was happening, the armed man fired a shot, just missing the barber’s head. Cross responded by reaching into a drawer for his own gun. His first shot knocked the robber to the floor, but he was still holding onto his gun. Cross then tried to shoot the gun out of the suspect’s hand and was successful, as the man finally dropped his gun. “That’s not a good feeling, looking down a gun barrel,” Cross said later. Winnebago County sheriff’s deputies took the injured gunman into custody and they arrested a second man who was running away from the scene. The barber was shocked when police told him the name of the wounded would-be robber. Cross had been cutting his hair for years. (Rockford Register Star, Rockford, Ill., 9/19/2001) 

A robbery attempt at an Atlanta, Ga., barber shop was thwarted by an armed barber. Willie White was cutting the hair of one youth when he was confronted by two others; all three demanded money. White then pulled his own pistol and shot at all three would-be robbers. One attacker was killed, another critically injured and the third was held for police. Police later said, “It seemed like they knew what they wanted to do. But they picked the wrong person as the victim.” No charges are being filed against White. (The Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 6/19/1997)

A High Ridge, Mo., woman who runs a beauty salon in her home had just finished with a customer when a masked man entered and assaulted her. She managed to break away, run upstairs, retrieve a .45 from her bedroom, and confront her assailant coming up the stairs. The tables turned as the sight of the gun was enough to send the perpetrator packing. (The Journal, Jefferson County, Mo., 8/31/1994)

Mike Baranelli would have let two robbers who burst into a Birmingham, Ala., barber shop keep his money. But the 75-year-old retired teacher was unwilling to surrender his life. When the intruders ordered Baranelli, the shop owner and another man to lie on the floor, Baranelli pulled his own pistol and shot both men in the head, killing one. “I felt sure there was going to be three dead people in there. I think I had some divine help,” Baranelli said. (The Sunday Advertiser, Montgomery, Ala., 1/3/1993) 

After a pistol-toting robber held up a neighboring San Diego, Calif., store and wounded the owner’s son, barber Freddie Orlando armed himself with a pistol and cornered the man in an alley. Ordering the armed robber to drop his gun, Orlando then made the man lie spread-eagled on the ground until police arrived. Police said the suspect taken into custody had been recently released on parole. (The Union, San Diego, Calif., 12/18/1987) 

Arriving at the Glendale, Ariz., beauty salon where his wife works, John Cooper became suspicious when he found the door locked. Using his key to get in, Cooper drew his revolver and investigated. When jumped by a pair of men, one armed with a knife, he fired and wounded both. Cooper found his wife and a customer bound in a back room. One suspect was arrested at the scene and a second while seeking help for gunshot wounds at a local hospital. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Ariz., 11/19/1984) 

A man carrying two guns entered the Houston, Texas, barber shop owned by Lewis Warren Sr. and asked to use some barber tools to remove cartridges from his gun. Warren refused. Later that evening, the gunman returned, kicking in the glass door and announcing that he would slay the barber. Warren, 69, was able to pull his own gun first, shooting and killing the intruder. (The Post, Houston, Texas, 1/1/1983) 

After being awakened by the sound of shattering glass at 5 a.m., William Parrish, a New York City barber with quarters to the rear of his shop, picked up his .22 rifle and went into the shop to investigate. There he surprised an intruder who tried to escape through the broken window. When Parrish’s command to stop went unheeded, he shot the would-be burglar to death. (Daily News, New York, N.Y., 5/1/1962)


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