Gunslinging Cell Phone Store Employee Foils Armed Robbers

A gun-packing cell phone store employee in Cali thwarted an attempted armed robbery last weekend, firing multiple rounds as the suspects fled. I guess Dirty Harry had to pick up some part-time work. Would you like to add unlimited messaging to your plan, punk? Well, would ya?

Fairfield Robbery Thwarted By Gun-Packing Employee [CBS5]


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  1. Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

    And now he will be fired.

    • Paintmann says:

      Yep, and because it’s cali, probably will do time.

      • danielem1 says:

        You say that like it’s a bad thing. He fired a gun, in a store, presumably with people around.

        • herbie says:

          Yeah, AT A GUY WHO WAS ARMED. So who would you rather have firing the weapon?

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          “Presumably?” Wow, remind me not to have you on my next jury.

        • Traveshamockery says:

          And didn’t hurt anybody.

          If the guy is licensed for concealed carry and felt that he or others were in imminent danger of severe harm or death, then he didn’t commit a crime by shooting. Even by Kalifornia standards.

          • Griking says:

            That doesn’t mean that he didn’t violate company policy.

            Since he works for a corporation he’ll most likely be fired for this.

            • Traveshamockery says:

              I was replying to danielem1’s post, wherein he/she implied that this person should go to jail for an act of lawful self-defense in which no innocent parties were injured and no laws were broken.

              • danielem1 says:

                I don’t think he should go to jail, I’m an absolutist on the law as well. However, starting a gun fight when he could just let them get away seems preferable. If I was in the store, I would wish that no other customers carrying concealed weapons decided to start a fire fight and prompt the robbers to shoot, you know, bullets. I hear they kill people.

                • dakeypoo says:

                  Really? So you wouldn’t dare think that if someone points a gun at you they intend to shoot at you? That’s what these criminals did. They pulled a gun. I would rather act on my own with my own weapon then leave my life in the decision of some punk ass criminal I don’t know. But you do things your way…

                • dakeypoo says:

                  Really? So you wouldn’t dare think that if someone points a gun at you they intend to shoot at you? That’s what these criminals did. They pulled a gun. I would rather act on my own with my own weapon then leave my life in the decision of some punk criminal I don’t know. But you do things your way…

          • mac-phisto says:

            california starts with a “C”

          • Jesse in Japan says:

            The guys were FLEEING. How are people who are fleeing supposed to pose a threat to anyone?

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        Goddammit, this disgusts me so much that if I’m ever working alone behind a cash register again, and my place gets held up, I’ll have the urge to show the thieves where the most valuable crap is, just because of this backwards-assed policy. “Oh, if you get robbed, make sure you don’t resist; it could create a liability issue for the company if you do it wrong.” spit

      • CookiePuss says:

        But the store was on Texas St. so he should be good. :P

    • ARP says:

      What did he hit? If he damaged their window, merchandise, etc. The store should consider what it would have lost in the robbery v. what damage he did.

    • goodpete says:

      “And now he will be fired”

      Are YOU going to be the one who tells this guy he’s no longer welcome? Remember, he comes to work packing heat… ;-)

    • Traveshamockery says:

      No, no, no, no…the GUN was fired.

    • MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

      He will be unemployee of the month.

  2. dosdelon says:

    That employee must be in good with the local police chief. Getting a permit to carry in California, especially that close to San Francisco, is no small feat.

    • Lomic says:

      You don’t need a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon on private property – including stores open to the public – in California. All he needs is approval from the business owner, and possibly from the property owner.

      • dosdelon says:

        How likely do you think it is that a cell phone store in California would give permission for an employee, who doesn’t have a permit to carry, to carry a gun inside their store? I can see some businesses, like a bank or casino, but a cell phone store?

    • Traveshamockery says:

      My thoughts exactly.

      For those of you who don’t know, California has a “may issue” concealed carry permit system. That means that even if you pass the background check and all other qualifications to carry legally, approval is still at the whims of a local law enforcement chief.

      Obviously, this can lead to all kinds of “pay for play” corruption. Those who are “in” with the powerful folks get permits, while the average person is denied “for not showing sufficient cause”.

      Thank God for free states with “shall-issue” concealed carry.

      • Paintmann says:

        +1 million

      • turnkeydb says:

        Maybe, maybe not. I can’t speak to Cailfornia specifically (yet) but many states have an open carry statute that says the store owner and/or employees may openly carry a firearm while in the business.

        • Traveshamockery says:

          Right…a lot of places consider a privately owned business to be private property for purposes of firearm possession, even if they’re open to the public. I don’t know the applicable California law in this case, though.

        • LACubsFan says:

          You are correct. You can open OR conceal carry at your business location with the owners OK.

      • Geekybiker says:

        Lucky you aren’t in Illinois. One of the two “shall not” states. :P

      • jason in boston says:

        I have a feeling this will happen to me in Boston. I will have to pay extortion money in order to renew if I am to buy a condo in the North End.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        That’s crazy that you need to get special permission to get a CCW permit.

        I can only imagine what people write down on the application — “My alley neighbor is a crack dealer, I call 911 all the time but the police never come, I need some way to protect myself and my family…”

      • pot_roast says:

        I lived in Fairfield/Suisun City/Vacaville for some years and a family friend recently retired from the Fairfield Police Department. Went to college at Solano Community College. I’m pretty familiar with this area.

        Getting a CCW in Solano County is like most of the other populated counties in California – next to impossible unless you are very rich or very well connected.

        This guy was probably carrying because it was his workplace and he had permission from the owner.. It said MetroPCS store but it’s not a corporate store. It’s an “Authorized Dealer.” Who knows, the guy could be the owner’s brother or something and has explicit permission to carry in the store. This area has always been a higher-crime area and it’s sad to see that hasn’t changed much.
        /glad I moved to a shall-issue state.

    • johnmc says:

      As close as it is geographically to San Francisco, Fairfield’s pretty far away in other respects. N Texas St, where this happened, is particularly rough. I wasn’t surprised in the slightest when I read the location.

      Random connection to Fairfield: My son was born there 9 years ago.

    • Sian says:

      Don’t need a permit to carry at your workplace, because it is private property. You do need permission though.

  3. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Awesome. I think everyone in retail should be trained and issued weapons. Just think of all the worthless, armed robber bastards we could get rid of!

    $0.07 License to kill.

  4. RandomHookup says:

    Got an “armed employees” post, so all I need is a Wal-Mart story to make Consumerist Bingo for today.

  5. hewhoroams says:

    Uh, if you can’t hit 2 guys standing without firing distance of you, please stop firing your gun. You’re going to end up like that guy who hit some bystanders.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      Which guy?

      Read the article, and you’ll find that it was unclear whether the bad guys were shot or not.

      Shooting someone with a handgun very rarely results in an immediate “stop”. I’ve read plenty of stories about people running hundreds of yards after being shot through the chest before collapsing.

    • barty says:

      It is easy hitting a fixed target 10-20 feet in front of you when you’re calm and relaxed at the range.

      When someone else pulls a gun on you, and you’re forced to pull on someone to protect your life and property, not so much. Fortunately in most cases the mere sight of the gun is enough to get most perps to leave the area, the last thing they want to encounter is someone who is capable of shooting back. It is no accident that states that make it easier for private individuals to carry firearms typically have a lower violent crime rate.

    • Bob Lu says:

      This man scared the bad guy away, by firing his gun, without hurt any bystanders. I call this a win, and I think he is a very competent and responsible firearm user.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Draw, at best. I don’t see any dead robbers.

        • TehLlama says:

          You clearly haven’t done much considering the possibility of a gunfight being a two-way affair.
          This is a success – bad guys learn to pick on the unarmed, store keeps its inventory, and ammunition company wins.

  6. Traveshamockery says:

    It’s really a shame that most workplaces voluntarily disarm law abiding employees who legally and safely carry virtually everywhere else. It’s just creating a soft target for maniacs who won’t obey the signs, and just see an unarmed, boxed-in, group of victims.

    Kudos to this employee for defending against an implied threat on his life, and dissuading criminals from future similar actions.

    Hopefully the pro-Second-Amendment forces in California can leverage this to push for “shall-issue” concealed carry legislation to benefit law abiding firearms owners.

    • Griking says:

      So what happens when the criminals start firing back and hit customers that they otherwise wouldn’t have shot when Dirty Harry pulls out his gun and starts shooting? Are we allowed to sue the employee with the gun?

      • Traveshamockery says:

        Considering guns are used in lawful self defense over 2 million times a year in the USA (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995), there should be a ton of headlines talking about the massive number of collateral injuries and deaths from lawful self defense, right?

        Please provide a link to prove that what you described actually happens, or stop making stuff up.

        • Griking says:

          Really? You’re gonna use a “screenshot or it didn’t happen” defense?

          I’m not saying that it happens often and I’m certainly not going to search the web looking for examples for you. I’m just saying that when it does and a person gets shot because of it there will be lawsuits. Luckily I live in a state where it’s not legal for want to be vigilantes to take the law in their own hands.

          • Traveshamockery says:

            You can’t make an unfounded claim, then place the onus of proof on me. It’s your argument…back it up or keep it to yourself, please.

            Just because you can imagine it doesn’t make it true. The fact that you’re unwilling to even attempt to produce an example shows that you’re unwilling to confront your own unfounded biases. Any research at all would yield plenty of evidence that lawful concealed carry doesn’t appreciably increase the risk to the public at large, and actually lowers crime rates (as I cited).

            I’d be interested to know what area you live in so we can compare its crime rate vs. areas where concealed carry is allowed.

            • aaron8301 says:


            • MrEvil says:

              Also, alot of the anti-carry people assume that a concealed carry holder is going to be as skilled with a firearm as a common criminal.

              Concealed Carry holders put a very large amount of ammunition through their weapon before they’re allowed to carry. A friend of mine that just recently got his CCW put about 1000 rounds through his pistol before he was qualified. I don’t reckon too many criminals go to the range on a regular basis to fire off a couple boxes of ammo.

              Just thought I’d give you a bit of a helping hand. A practiced shooter with hollowpoints shouldn’t ever hit something he wasn’t aiming at.

          • spamtasticus says:

            I’m confused. You are glad you live in a state where you are not allowed to adequately defend your own life? If you are assaulted by someone on the street or someone breaks into your house to kill you and rape your family, will you be as glad then that you only have a frying pan to defend yourself with? Those of us who do not live in Disney Land are quite glad that it is up to us to decide how capable a defense is adequate for our lives and our loved ones.

            • Griking says:

              I’m ok with people owning guns and being able to defend their home and family with them. However I’m not an advocate of people carrying guns with them in public.

              • dakeypoo says:

                So you believe people should only be allowed to defend themselves and their family only when they are at home? Nice…

                When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

              • jason in boston says:

                The great thing about CCW is that you’ll never know until they save your life.

              • pz says:

                I used to think like you, until I figured out what the right to “keep and BEAR” arms actually meant. You ARE allowed to carry them around in public, like it or not, and anyone who says you can’t is in effect denying you your constitutional rights.

      • Southern says:

        Prove that they wouldn’t have shot anyway.

      • jason in boston says:

        I’m sorry, my life is more important than anything in the entire world. The criminals (was the gun they had legal? /me thinks not) pointed a gun at the clerk. Clerk felt his life was in danger, and attempted to kill the people with the gun.

        I see no problem here except for his lack of aim. Heart shots every time at 25 years. That should be his metric.

        If the criminals shot and killed someone, then criminally the clerk is not at fault, at all. The criminals are at fault criminally. With out great civil system, I would assume both would be sued, but not get much because it was a couple of thugs and a MetroPCS salesman. Maybe Metro would pay something, but I don’t know.

        • Brink006 says:

          The capacity to celebrate death is the sign of a sociopath.

          • Marshmelly says:

            Wanting to see criminals dead does not make one a sociopath. If someone attacks me, and I kill them with my gun, then yes, I am celebrating. My life is more important than that of someone trying to hurt me.

          • Gish says:

            Where did you find this reference as a sign of sociopathy?

            Googling it brings up many references inc. DSM material and in none of them do I find the ‘capacity to celebrate death’ listed as a sign.

            I can think of many sitautions wherein someone’s death may be celebrated and in no way construed as sociopathic.

          • macruadhi says:

            So, if justice is defined as one getting what one deserves, and justice is served upon a criminal in the form of death, and the people in a given area celebrate his/her death, then they are all sociopaths? I suppose I also am a sociopath, cause I love it when horrible, awful people meet their sticky ends.

          • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

            …or a churchgoer on Good Friday.

          • Sparkstalker says:

            I guess I won’t invite you to my wake then…

        • nybiker says:

          What does “Heart shots every time at 25 years.” mean? Or did you mean to type ’25 yards’? Thank you.

        • jason in boston says:

          Learn to proofread before hitting submit.

          /jason from the future.

      • spamtasticus says:

        How do you know they would “otherwise” not have fired? Is that something like: “if we stay quiet in our seats and do what the hijackers ask us to do then nothing bad will happen”?

      • dakeypoo says:

        So what would be saying if after the criminals took the money, they executed the employees. Would you be saying that they should have defended themselves? When someone points a gun at me, I assume they intend to kill me. I will act accordingly, which is my right. That right is to pull my own legally carried weapon and fire.

      • Doubts42 says:

        your argument falls apart at “otherwise wouldn’t have shot “. Legally the presumption when someone pulls a gun on you is that they DO in fact intend to shoot.

    • SlappyFrog says:

      Dissuade the criminals? Like how “three strikes” and the death penalty dissuade criminals?

      • Traveshamockery says:

        No, I’m not talking about three strikes laws or the death penalty, I’m talking about concealed carry.

        I’m talking about increasing the risk level of committing violent crime with the threat of immediate deadly consequences.

        The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (2004) is where I derive my claim from. It says that states that disallow concealed carry have violent crime rates 11% higher than national averages. Look it up.

  7. Geekybiker says:

    Misleading article. He didn’t fire as they fled. That would be illegal most places. The orignal article says he fired *then* they fled. That’s a huge difference.

  8. Remmy75 says:

    Well if the guy does get fired maybe he can get a job at Walmart checking reciepts. Imagine the fun stories we will have when someone refuses the reciept check and he whips out his gun and starts firing at people.

  9. JollyJumjuck says:

    Armed robbers are big men until their victims level the playing field. Then they run like the despicable coward they truly are.

  10. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Right now I’m thinking of all those videos where you see an armed robber beating or shooting the gas station clerk even though they’re co-operating.

    I don’t think it’s fair to assume the armed employee was being “vigilante” here. A gun pointed at you is a threat against your life and you can’t really assume that co-operating will keep you from being shot.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      Entirely correct. “Your money or your life” is not a mutually binding contract.

    • Destron says:

      I agree, and everyday we are seeing an increasing number of stories of people that cooperated with the person every step of the way, only to be killed after the fact. You can’t assume that just because they say they won’t hurt you they will keep their word.

    • Sian says:

      This. Even if they were all wearing masks, you just can’t be sure.

      Modern criminals have no regard or respect for the lives of their victims. It’s best to be proactive when dealing with them.

  11. Brink006 says:

    Here we will see free market in full action as the company is well within its rights to determine whether or not employees are allowed to carry and/or discharge firearms while representing the company.

    Right? I would hate to see legislation passed to force the company to allow its employees to carry firearms. The business should have the right to dictate its policy!

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      If I was this employee’s manager, I’d give him a serious talking to. He certainly needs to spend more time at the shooting range. Not even one headshot and that is going on his performance review.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      I believe private property rights trump the right to carry a concealed weapon. For example, if a friend of mine doesn’t want me to carry a gun on his property, then his right to control what happens on his property trumps my right to carry a gun.

      I think a similar principle should apply to places of business. The owners have the right to determine what they’ll allow on their premises (to a large extent), and if they want to ban guns, then so be it. At that point, let the free market work and see if people who carry guns care enough to boycott and cost them significant cash.

      • VeganPixels says:

        Private property rights do trump gun-totin’ ones. If they didn’t, Chipotle wouldn’t have had to install the gun-free eating zone signs in their AZ locations.

      • dakeypoo says:

        Concealed means concealed. Nobody knows until I use it to defend myself.

        • jason in boston says:

          I would ask a lawyer in your state. Will you stay alive? Yes. Will you have other charges brought on you, possibly.

          Besides BU, I don’t go to any store that bans guns. My money isn’t good enough for them.

          • dakeypoo says:

            That’s only if the owners have specific state-ordained signs posted. Many states require specific signs to be posted in order to disqualify someone from carrying in that establishment. Simply telling them or posting a sign with a gun and an X through it will not suffice. The best they can do then is just ask you to leave.

        • Traveshamockery says:

          That’s a selfish position to take. Have respect for the rights of others, or expect to respect for your own rights.

          Defending the second amendment while treading all over someone else’s right to control their property is cherry-picking the rights you’ll support. If you don’t like somebody’s rules saying you must disarm to enter, then don’t go there.

  12. DanRydell says:

    Cali? Do you have teenage girls writing your articles now?

  13. vinmega says:

    Good for him. This is good.

  14. CajunGuy says:

    This is the exact reason that open/conceal carry should be exercised, judiciously! I’m a big fan of o/cc, not in small part because Louisiana is an open carry friendly state.

    Reading some of the comments, it infuriates me that people actually believe that law-abiding individuals shouldn’t be allowed to protect themselves at all times. These folks can believe whatever they want, but saying that an average Joe Citizen is dangerous because he carries is an outright lie. See, there’s the part about “law-abiding citizen” that seems to trip them up. If gun control, as in “you CANNOT, under any circumstances, carry a firearm” was a reality, do you really think criminals would give a rat’s? Um, no! If I’m a criminal, and am looking to rob a bank/store or an individual, do you think I care about the law saying I can’t legally carry a pistol? Again, um, no. Criminals will do what they do, no matter what the law says.

    Now, if said criminal decides to rob ME, and I pull my S&W M&P 9mm ready to put 17 rounds of jacketed hollow points into his chest, I’ve just eliminated one scenario; he’s going to rob me and then kill me anyway. Could he still kill me even if I’m armed? Sure, if my aim is worse than his (though I’ve shot enough rounds to narrow that possibility down a good bit). But I’d wager more often than not, seeing as many criminals are HOPING that I’m not carrying, just the sight of my pistol aimed in their direction is at the very least going to drive him away. In short, I’m willing to take the chance.

    Could other people get hurt in the process of someone defending themselves? Maybe. But if you’re going to play the “maybe” game, maybe the crook was planning to shoot up everyone around anyway. The point is, if everyone was conceivably carrying, crooks would never know who the Dirty Harry might be in the crowed, and I’m willing to bet that many would-be crooks would think twice if presented with that knowledge.

    • jason in boston says:

      I’m not a fan of open carry tactically. I didn’t like that I had to carry the 1911 on my hip when I was in the middle east. I would have preferred a shoulder harness under the top layer of the BDU but I wasn’t allowed. I am all for CCW, but open carry is showing where your sidearm is. I prefer to keep the 50/50 chance that the felon doesn’t know I’m a lefty.

  15. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    awesome…I’m glad this was Consumerist worthy — Nice piece of news to read.

  16. FS1 says:

    Fired a weapon to thwart robbers? How dare he! Doesn’t he know he is just supposed to be shot and bleed to death on the scene like a good employee? Company policy requires you to die or be injured, not fight back.

  17. VeganPixels says:

    Just one more great reason to always shop online. Nobody at Google Checkout is every gonna fire live rounds at some idiot over a couple of hundred bucks in the till.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      Did you miss the part about the two criminals threatening people with a gun?

      Oh, I forgot…if you just cooperate, nothing bad will ever happen to you.


      • AI says:

        Right, because good things happen to people who try to pull their gun while a criminal already has theirs pulled and pointed at your face. Unless you happen to get held up while your gun is already in your hand, you’re not likely to beat the criminal to the draw, when he’s already drawn.

  18. lawgirl502 says:

    What happened? Not enough story…

  19. lawgirl502 says:

    What happened? Not enough story…

  20. tinyangel says:

    Here is a shirt for everyone who doesn’t want to be a target: I plan on wearing one to the Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak, MI

  21. geekpoet says:

    Vigilantism is never an answer. The robbery wasn’t against himself or his property, he should not have put himself in harms way (more than he already was) nor tried to harm someone else for the sake of the company. Just let the thieves take the merchandise and file an insurance claim, thats why companies have insurance. A few hundred/thousand dollars in losses vs someone’s life (even that of the robber) isn’t worth it.

    I say this remembering the store owner down the block from my house killed trying to pull a gun on a robber instead of just handing over the sixty some-odd bucks in his till…

  22. pk says:

    Was the store Israeli-owned? People should know better than to eff with Israeli-owned cell phone stores. Same thing happened in philly.