Thursday, January 03, 2008

A heartwarming story

From WorldNewDaily:

A grocery store customer in Indianapolis is being credited with halting an armed robbery by pulling his own weapon and pointing it at the assailant until police arrived.

According to a report in the Indianapolis Star, Charlie Merrell, 51, was in a checkout line at a grocery store called Bucks IGA on the city's south side when a "masked man jumped a nearby counter and held a gun on a store employee."

The police report cited by the newspaper said the incident happened at 5:17 in the afternoon Monday as Merrell was doing some year-end shopping.

"While the suspect was demanding cash from the workers," according to the police report, "Merrell pulled his own handgun, pointed it at the robber and ordered him to put down his weapon."

The newspaper noted that Officer Jason Bockting, in his documentation of the incident, said when the suspect seemed to hesitate, "Merrell racked the slide on his gun to load a round in the chamber."

At that point, the report said, "the suspect placed his gun and a bag of cash on the counter, dropping some of the money … the suspect removed his mask and lay on the floor."

Merrill, meanwhile, held the suspect at gunpoint until officers arrived and took him away in handcuffs.

Police reported Merrell had a valid permit to carry the handgun, and they recovered an unloaded .380-caliber handgun and $779 cash from the suspect.

Police records show Dwain Smith, 19, was being held in the Marion County Jail on a bond of $30,000 on initial charges of robbery, criminal confinement, pointing a firearm, battery and carrying a handgun without a license.

Kudos to Mr. Merrell for both having a gun and the courage to use it, but here is a tip for future reference. A semi-automatic firearm without a round in the chamber is not loaded and an unloaded pistol is useful only as a hammer. And it isn't a very good hammer at that.