Skip to comments.Clerk foils robbery attempt by firing shotgun at suspect- "I just can't believe I missed him"
Posted on 01/09/2006 7:46:40 PM PST by SJackson
Authorities with the Barron County Sheriff's Department say that on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 12:33 p.m., they received a 911 emergency call from Trappers Crossing Bait and Liquor Store, located at 2534 8-1/4 Avenue in the Town of Chetek.
According to the call, two white males entered the store. One demanded money from the clerk while displaying a handgun. According to the sheriff's department, the clerk, Tomas Mulrooney of Los Angeles, Calif., removed a loaded shotgun from under the counter and fired one round in the direction of the suspect with the gun. Both suspects immediately fled the store, leaving in a dark green-colored truck.
The suspect was not hit or injured by the blast, and no money was taken.
The first suspect, the gunman, is described as a white male in his mid-20s with short blond hair and blue eyes. He is believed to be between 6' 1" and 6' 3" in height and weighing approximately 210-230 pounds with a muscular build. The second suspect is described as being in his mid-20s with short blond- or brown-colored hair and blue eyes. He is believed to be between 5' 10" and 6' in height and weighing approximately 220-240 pounds.
If anyone has information about this incident or can identify the suspects, they are asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department at (715) 537-3106 or the Anonymous Tipster Line at 1-800-532-9008.
"I just can't believe I missed him"
Mulrooney, son of Trappers Crossing owner June Mulrooney, says he didn't feel bad about taking a shot at his assailant, and he would do the same thing again. "I just can't believe I missed him," Mulrooney says, shaking his head. "Mom's going to be mad when she sees this cooler."
Mulrooney says he was not surprised the store was being robbed, or who was robbing it.
"He [the gunman] had been in here last Tuesday [Dec. 20]," says Mulrooney. "I was changing some money and I had to reach into a green cash bag my mom kept in a drawer near the till."
Mulrooney reached down and opened the drawer to lend a visual reference to his story. He pulled out a green bank bag similar to the one in the drawer that day.
"I watched the guy as I was changing the money and he was watching the money very carefully," says Mulrooney. "I figured he was marking us, and he would be back at some point."
After the man left that day, Mulrooney says he told his mother that she shouldn't keep cash in that drawer.
"The guy made me kind of nervous, so I started thinking about bringing a shotgun down [from the upstairs apartment]," says Mulrooney. "Good thing I did, too." Quite a surprise
Mulrooney says he had just brought the shotgun downstairs to inspect that day, and was sitting at the counter of the store playing with a Playstation PSP, when the man returned - this time with another person.
"They both came in and walked to the back corner," says Mulrooney. "They talked there for a while and then walked back up to the front of the store."
Mulrooney says at that point, the second man walked over to the stack of newspapers near the door and started shuffling around. The first man then walked around the counter so that Mulrooney's back would be to the door, and demanded the money.
"He walked up and opened up the bibs he had on to show me the gun he had stuffed in the waistband of his pants," says Mulrooney. "He said, 'I know you've got money in a green bag in that drawer and I want it now.'"
Mulrooney says he went to set the PSP down on the shelf below the counter when he remembered the shotgun sitting there. He says he took one look at how the gunman was standing and knew he would have an opportunity to get at least one shot off.
"I knew it [the shotgun] was loaded, and I saw that he was pointing with his left hand and it was blocking his gun hand, so I knew I could get him before he got me," says Mulrooney. "I grabbed the shotgun and kind of shot from the hip."
Expecting the gunman to go down, Mulrooney admits he was amazed when the man and his partner ran out of the store.
"I couldn't believe it, he just stood there looking at me for a second and then ran out the door," says Mulrooney. "After he left, I looked at the hole the shot made in the cooler behind where he was standing and I realized the gun had freaking slugs in it."
Mulrooney says he couldn't have missed the gunman by more than six inches, and he certainly would have hit him if the load would have been buck or bird shot.
"He's pretty lucky, that's all I know," says Mulrooney. When asked if he has been rattled by the experience, Mulrooney explains that he lives in Los Angeles, Calif., and that he has been shot at before.
"It's like normal out there," Mulrooney says with a laugh, who adds that the incident hasn't tainted his view of Chetek one bit.
"My mom really likes the area, and I've actually been looking to start up a business here," confides Mulrooney. "The people here are so helpful and great. One idiot isn't going to change that."
June Mulrooney was on vacation in Arizona and could not be reached for comment.
People think that the quick snapshot under pressure is like shooting at the gun range on a sunny day.
I think that is a DEADLY presumption.
They also seem to think that shotguns are area effect weapons that you only have to wave in the general direction of the target (at whatever range) while pulling the trigger. They're not.
Good post, except for the miss. Thanks.
With an armed perp in your face, it certainly is. He's a very lucky man. Both actually.
I once had a Mossberg 20 that seemed to shoot a donut pattern. Many a dove escaped from right in front of me.
A load of birdshot at less than 6 feet can blow a pretty good sized hole in a person.
It's easy to miss, even with a shotgun, but I'll bet you could follow the yellow and brown trail leading away from the store.
That's your problem, you don't aim a shotgun, you point it. While it's not a true area effects weapon, it's not a pinpoint effect weapon either. Close does count when shooting moving aerial targets, or moving surface ones as well.
First of all, he probably didn't say "freaking".
Secondly, he should have checked the gun before bringing it into action. If he didn't even know what kind of ammo was in it, it could have been empty. Using buckshot might have given him a hit and saved some damage to the cooler.
Seen it. Real mess.
All in all better that the kid missed....
Perps ain't coming back (would YOU!!) and the kid doesn't have a dead man on his mind.
....just a dead cooler.
Indeed... I've seen many a dead dove fly away after I shot them. :-)
Probably not. Six inches is larger than the pattern would have been at inside a bait and liquor store distances. A cylinder choke results in about a 20" diameter pattern at 20 yards. At 10 yards, which is still 30 feet and fairly long range in that situation it would be around 1/2 that, or 10" diameter or 5" radius. He was probably closer than that. You don't have to aim a shotgun, but you do have to point it at the intended target, your eye forms the rear sight. Unless you have a rear sight of some sort on your shotgun, then you can aim it as you would a rifle. A ghost ring type seems to be the consensus choice.
agreed - boy needs to work on his gunnery sequence
breathe, release, AIM, squeeze
but I do give him high marks for willingness to defend his property and life.
I'd opt for shot, but shot, slug, whatever, confronting two assailants, one known to be armed, at close range, he's very lucky that miss (I missed the follow up shot, that's a miss too) didn't cost him his life.
Should have been using #1 buck. At close range you really can't miss. Sixteen .30 caliber pellets will do a job on anyone. Just get your Ouija board out and ask my neighbors late-night barking dog.
Good point - For 20+ years I taught to use 0 or #1 for close range shot gun work. Its the most effective bang for the buck. Best close range patterning and most projectile weight tranfer to target. 00 is mucho macho sounding, but 0 or #1 does the best job in CQB's.
I would think it would be 1/3 the diameter or even less, since the shot load starts travelling as a mass inside the shot cup. Once the shot starts to spread, it will quickly start acting like a bunch of individual pellets rather than a unified mass, but it can travel some distance before that happens.
My own personal solution to the shotgun question:
Yes, that is a mag-fed AK-based 12 gauge shotgun. Comes in this configuration with rifle sights, another with a vent rib and bead, and another that's a slicktop.
They also seem to think that shotguns are area effect weaponsTrue, shotguns must be aimed, unless maybe you have one of these
Sounds like you need to invest in some quality choke tubes.
I use a smooth bore slug barrel...
(should have mentioned that)
..and you are right, rifled slug barrels will produce some of the wierdest patterns.
If he though hitting the cooler made a mess then he's probably lucky that he missed the crook.
You are probably correct. I was being my usual conservative engineer self. But I hadn't thought about the shot not starting to spread until the petals pull off the shot-cup/wad. Those generally travel about 15-20 yards, but much of that is after it has separated from the shot.
So, for the first few yards, the difference between a slug and shot is pretty negligible, and even for the next few after that, the shot column doesn't spread much.
Bottom line, I hope I never get shot by a shotgun at close range. And if I ever had to employ my serious social purposes shotgun for it's intended use, I hope there's somebody else to clean up the mess.