Skip to comments.Store owner s gun drives off robbers
Posted on 06/25/2002 4:41:20 AM PDT by Deadeye Division
Store owner's gun drives off robbers
By KATY SCOTT News-Sun Staff Writer
The Springfield drive-through owner who shot at two would-be robbers Saturday night, possibly wounding one, said he’d repeat his actions.
"I don't like getting shot at, and I don't like shooting at people, but I'd do it again," said Clifford A. Conley, owner of Beverage Oasis, 1953 S. Yellow Springs St.
The would-be robbers were described as 6-foot-tall, masked black men with shotguns who entered the business at 10:58 p.m.
There have been a string of similar robberies at area bars since April 16, and Springfield Police Chief David Walters said, "We have every reason to believe this is connected."
Witnesses and police reports gave this account:
One of the robbers entered the business wearing a green mask and blue clothing and carrying a 12-gauge shotgun. As he approached the building, three people at the business fled. A fourth person, who fell on her way out, remained motionless on the floor near the door.
The second gunman, who was wearing a green mask and carrying a 20-gauge shotgun, followed the three people as they fled. The three attempted to flag down several cars for help before a Springfield motorist stopped.
"He seen them running. He seen the guy with the shotgun chasing them," said Oasis manager Debbie Little, who wasn't working Saturday.
The motorist drove the three to a phone down the street where they called for help.
"Nobody wants to get involved in anything like this," Little said. "We owe him a debt of gratitude."
Conley was working in an office and by way of a security camera observed the three people fleeing. With another camera, he saw the first robber banging on a cash register with his gun.
Conley dialed 911 and, before speaking to anyone, left the phone off the hook to pick up a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol. He came out of the office as the first robber ran through the drive-through.
Conley told the man to stop and fired a warning shot. The gunman turned toward Conley and began to raise his gun, so Conley fired two shots at him. The man fell to the ground, dropped his weapon, got up and limped away. Police later recovered the dropped gun.
Conley looked outside and saw both men. The second robber shot twice at Conley as he helped his partner into a maroon Ford Tempo. The shots hit the garage door jamb. Conley fired five to six more times, then closed and locked all the doors of his business.
Police officers were on the scene shortly thereafter. Conley commended their response time, saying it took just minutes for officers to arrive.
Walters said that whenever firearms are involved, it becomes a potentially dangerous situation.
"I can't prevent people from trying to protect their businesses and their employees," he said. "These robbers have been very active in the past few weeks in the Springfield area, and people are a little on edge."
Conley was reluctant to talk about the incident Monday. Little said Conley wishes the attempted robbery could have ended peacefully.
"This is not something he's proud of," she said. "They drew on him, and he fired back ... He had no resort but to fire back."
But what about this- He came out of the office as the first robber ran through the drive-through. Conley told the man to stop and fired a warning shot.
If I'm reading this right, the goblin had left the store- might have been a better idea to let him go- and certainly, if you're going to engage a guy holding a shotgun w/a .22, don't fire a warning shot...
Glad the good guys are okay, and a bad guy got dinged, but this guy opened himself up to getting shot, and, depending on the DA/juries in his locale, criminal/civil heartaches.
A far better solution is to keep a .40 or a .45 handy, practice with it, or even better join IDPA and practice there! Then you could go for a center mass hit and be more confident that when you hit him, he won't just "stand up and limp away..."
Yup- but even with my Kimber in my hand, if the bad guys are running away, I'm holding my position and calling the cops. Unless they're carrying off my first born, I'm not chasing trouble once it's out the door.