Many pawn shops deal in cash, which can sometimes attract criminals bent on making an easy score. Consequently, many pawn shop owners and employees carry a firearm for protection.
Following are four accounts of pawn shop employees and customers using firearms to defend themselves and others.
Two robbery suspects thought a pawn shop run by a 74-year-old woman would be an easy target, but Shirley Cornett proved them wrong. Two men walked into a Springdale, Ark., store in early December, pulled out handguns and started stealing property. As one of the troublemakers jumped the counter toward her husband, Cornett pulled out a .38-cal. revolver and shot the man in the arm. He fired back, and the bullet ricocheted off a pile of books and hit Cornett, but didn’t break her skin. The suspects fled to a hospital in Fort Smith, about 65 miles away, where police found the wounded man and later nabbed his alleged partner in crime after a foot chase from the parking lot. Charges are pending against the men. Police reviewed surveillance video and said Cornett acted in self-defense. (5newsonline.com, Fort Smith, Ark., 12/7/14)
A man entered Cash America Pawn in Indianapolis, Ind., pulled a hood over his head, drew a gun and attempted to rob the store. A customer responded by drawing a gun and shooting the criminal, killing him. Following an investigation, police revealed that the deceased robber was a suspect in other robberies. (WISH, Indianapolis, Ind., 11/18/14)
Three armed men entered the Detroit Pawn Shop in Hamtramck, Mich., and attempted to rob the store. A store employee responded to the threat by firing at the criminals, killing one and ending the robbery. Following the incident, Hamtramck Police Chief Max Garbarino noted that the shooting appeared to be a case of self-defense. Garbarino went on to tell a local news outlet, “Frankly, I’ll be honest, it’s pretty stupid for anyone to try and rob someone in Hamtramck ... Most of … our store owners are armed." (WWJ, Detroit, Mich., 8/1/13)
An armed robber wearing a shirt on his head entered the Queen of Pawns pawnshop in Kissimmee, Fla., and demanded cash from two employees. A clerk on duty responded to the threat by retrieving a gun and firing at the criminal, causing him to flee. One employee suffered a minor injury during the incident and was taken to a local hospital. (WKMG, Orlando, Fla., 7/5/13)