Store owner shoots robbery suspect, PA
This is a discussion on Store owner shoots robbery suspect, PA within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This is a nice local story
Four months ago, after a series of break-ins at his convenience store, Merlony "Jason" Colaco nabbed a robbery ...
August 8th, 2007 09:44 PM
Store owner shoots robbery suspect, PA
This is a nice local story
Four months ago, after a series of break-ins at his convenience store, Merlony "Jason" Colaco nabbed a robbery suspect and used his shotgun to hold her at bay until police arrived.
Thursday morning, he confronted another suspect, only this time, he fired.
"I shot that guy, not because he was stealing, but because he came to me and was attacking me," Colaco said. "This was the first time I ever fired a gun. I never even hunted before."
Police said Colaco, owner of Molly Pitcher Mini-Mart of 13640 Molly Pitcher Highway, shot Thomas Philip Candeloro Jr., 44, of Baltimore, after he and two other white men broke into the store at 1:46 a.m. to steal cartons of cigarettes.
When Colaco confronted the men with his shotgun, a fight broke out that resulted in Candeloro being shot, police said.
Candeloro's alleged accomplices reportedly fled, but he was taken to Washington County Hospital, where he was treated and released, according to a hospital spokesperson.
Police said charges of robbery, burglary, theft and conspiracy are pending against him.
Calaco's store is just off of Interstate 81. For several months it has been the site of several break-ins and robberies.
Speaking from his store on Thursday afternoon, Colaco said he felt bad about the whole situation and that he was still shaken by it all.
After the arrest of the robbery suspect in April, he thought the crimes were over and he could stop camping out in his
store after it closed at 10 p.m.
But two weeks ago, he said someone broke into his back door and took two cartons of Marlboro cigarettes. Three days later, someone stole 15 to 16 bags of ice from the container in front of the store.
During that same period, he said, someone threw a rock through the window of another area business.
Once again, Colaco had had enough.
As he'd done in the past, he grabbed his shotgun and began sleeping in his office. He listened for sounds and closely watched the security camera. At 1:40 a.m., he heard the sound of the cowbell attached to his door.
He looked at the security camera and saw three men violently shaking the door, trying to get in, he said. Eventually, they made it inside and began to fill two trash cans with cigarettes.
Remembering how he scared a previous robbery suspect and held her at bay, Colaco said he walked out to confront the men while holding his shotgun. But instead of being scared, one of the men approached him as if he didn't care about the gun, Colaco said.
"I had the safety lock on my gun and I became nervous and couldn't remove it," Colaco recalled. "He came toward me and I backed up."
The man turned and ran outside. The second man, who was much bigger than the first, Colaco said, took a trash can filled with merchandise.
"Hold it," Colaco called out to him. But the man simply looked at Colaco and walked outside.
However, when the third man, Candeloro, walked up to Colaco, he showed more aggression, Colaco said. "He lifted the trash can and threw it at me."
Colaco shouted for him to stop. "Hold it," he said. "Or I'll shoot."
Candeloro reportedly ignored the warnings and started walking toward Colaco. "Stop!" Colaco shouted.
He kept coming.
Colaco pulled the trigger, shooting him in his left side, near the stomach.
"I thought I'd missed, because he just walked away. But after he walked through the door, he collapsed." He began yelling for his friends. He tried to get up but fell down.
Pennsylvania State Police called in response to the store's alarm system. "Send an ambulance, I shot a guy," Colaco said.
When he looked outside, he saw Candeloro crawling, trying to walk. He crawled a distance and stood up, only to fall again. "You shot me...I'm gonna sue you!" he told the store owner.
Colaco said he was troubled by the incident. "I felt bad for him," he said. "I never shot anyone before. I never even hunted."
He said he didn't know how much longer he could put up with the crime.
Earlier crime spree
Earlier this year, Colaco was credited with catching Erica Marie Lynch, 19, of 128 S. Jefferson St., Greencastle, after she allegedly broke into his store on March 28 to steal cigarettes for drug money, according to court documents filed with the office of Magisterial District Judge Duane K. Cunningham.
When arrested, Lynch told police that she and her live-in boyfriend, Joshua Lance Ingream, 19, and their friend, James Edward Byrd Jr., 43, Chambersburg, had burglarized "multiple places" in Pennsylvania and Maryland, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Lynch was charged with two counts of burglary and theft by unlawful taking. Ingream was charged with three counts of burglary, three counts of theft by unlawful taking and two counts of criminal mischief. Byrd, however, was placed in Franklin County Prison. He was charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief.
August 8th, 2007 09:44 PM
August 9th, 2007 09:19 AM
'I'm going to sue you" ???
Dead men don't sue anybody...
I'm glad this turned out OK. But, it goes to show that merely displaying a firearm may not act as a deterrant, and practice is necessary to be able to function properly in stressful situations like this one. Three against one is doable but this could have turned nasty for the store owner very quickly. He said he had never fired a gun before. I hope he will find a range and an instructor and learn how to use that shotgun correctly before he encounters another armed criminal. Again, congratulations to the owner for successfully stopping a burglary.
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson
August 9th, 2007 09:29 AM
That could have turned out bad, glad it didn't. The owner deffiinatly needs to learn how to handle that scattergun. I wonder what load he had in it?
CRIME..... LAW DEFINES, POLICE ENFORCE, CITIZENS PREVENT!
FOUR BOXES KEEP US FREE:  SOAP  BALLOT  JURY  AMMO!
August 9th, 2007 12:35 PM
I wonder if they are just referring to the manual saftey or did he have a trigger lock on it?
I had the safety lock on my gun and I became nervous and couldn't remove it
Either way the owner is lucky & should get training / range time with the weapon he choses to confront BG's with. I hope the only thing the BG gets is jail time.
August 9th, 2007 05:33 PM
The boldness of dirtbag criminals who break into your store, assault you, ignore warnings, and after getting shot think that they can sue?
It's the 'dirtbag' attorneys who support these ideas that should be tried and jailed for 'unarmed robbery'...
"That I cannot do."
"Give this to, uh, Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren't going to be carried away. After all we're not murderers in spite of what this undertaker thinks."
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
August 9th, 2007 06:01 PM
This story always ammuses me. These robbers are from Maryland where i'm sure they are used to no one being armed with all the strict gun laws. They decide to come to PA where there are laxed gun laws and end up getting shot by an armed citizen. I'm sure they will think twice about leaving their "gun free" state.
August 9th, 2007 06:36 PM
Took the words right out of my mouth.
Originally Posted by retsupt99
"Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual change; but this change is not [an improvement]. For everything that is given, something is taken."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
August 12th, 2007 06:06 PM
The store owner could have had the stuffing beaten out of him, and the gun taken and used against him. Can you imagine going into battle with a gun whose safety you don't even know how to disengage? But at least he had the fortitude to hang in there and use the weapon when he was actually assualted. I hope the justice system doesn't say that he was not under threat of death or serious harm just by having a trash can full of cigarettes thrown at him.
August 12th, 2007 06:49 PM
good lessons here.
1. don't bother talking to criminals
2. don't stop shooting until the BG hits the ground
even though the store owner waivered a bit, it took courage and determination to protect what was his to the extent he did.
War is not the ugliest of things. Worse is the decayed state of moral feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which he cares for more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free. -J.S. Mill
August 12th, 2007 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by retsupt99
I know exactly how you feel about this. The world is out of balance! Serious Reform must be made in terms of Lawsuits from the Criminals.
Missouri recently passed Castle Doctrine supposedly banning lawsuits from Criminals and their Families as part of the legislation, but I have heard from sources in Missouri, the law as passed is without sufficient "Bite" to it. I haven't studied the in's and out's of it yet but hope we can get that resolved soon!
Originally Posted by Phaed
+1 on that Phaed! I think if time and circumstances permit, you can give a warning challenge to a BG before unleashing hot lead on them however, Don't get caught up in a lot of dialog with them.
As citizens who are lawfully armed, we are not required to give verbal challenges in order to capture and detain someone for trial as LEO may be required to do in most situations.
Giving a verbal challenge is a good idea if circumstances permit you. After all, we do want to avoid shooting someone if possible. But with todays criminals you can't count on them not turning on you, or just flat out ignoring you.
I have already gone through many hypothetical scenario's in pre-planning where giving a verbal challenge or warning is not appropriate before shooting to protect yourself.
This guy mustered the courage and determination without any prior training and still survived unscathed. But I think we all can see here that the more you train and practice for such an eventuality, the better chances you may stand.
This guy did a good thing! He could have been seriously injured or killed.
I think when facing a 3 on 1 situation like he did in his store, he would have been better served by firing at his first opportunity without all the commands and dialog.
Stay Safe, and be prepared!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
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