Save your life or keep your job? A gas station clerk in New Hampshire says he can find another job, but that he had to pull a gun on an armed robber wielding a knife shortly after midnight on Monday morning to protect himself, despite company policy against firearms in the workplace. He was fired a few hours after the incident.
According to The Nashua Telegraph, the clerk had finished helping a customer when the robber entered the store, walked behind the counter and brandished a knife.
“He had the knife cocked back. It looked like he was going to stab me,” he said. “I took several steps back, produced my sidearm, and informed him it was a bad idea and he didn’t want to do it, and he left.”
After the would-be robber fled, the cashier, who has a permit to carry a handgun in New Hampshire, called the police. He was also asked to file a report with his employers, and was fired hours after doing so, he says, despite two managers who tried to intercede on his behalf.
Nouria Energy, the company that owns and operates the gas station where the clerk worked, said in a statement to WBZ-TV that employees aren’t allowed to have firearms in the workplace for their own safety, and that they are instructed to give intruders what they ask for “in an attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully and as soon as possible.”
“We do respect the constitutional right to bear arms. However, we believe the best way to keep our employees and customers safe is to prohibit weapons in the workplace,” the statement adds. “Our training and policies are aligned with what is customary in the retail/conveniences store industries and is consistent with advice offered by security and police organizations.”
A police lieutenant says it appears the clerk took appropriate action, and encouraged anyone who carries a gun to undergo safety training.
“The first thing that we want to make sure is that people are safe,” he said. “In this situation, the clerk was presented with a deadly weapon. He was in close proximity to the suspect when the deadly weapon was displayed to him. The clerk, from the information I have, took the appropriate action in terms of how he felt threatened, in presenting the firearm.”
The cashier says that with a grandson on the way, he has no regrets.
“I can find another job,” the clerk said. “A paycheck’s a paycheck. I don’t really care where it comes from. I cannot justify in my mind trying to save my job at the risk of not ever seeing my family and friends again.”