September 21st, 2007 03:39 PM
Gun store owner pulls gun, foils robbery
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Lawrence County gun store owner confronted by an armed robber yesterday grabbed his own gun and foiled the attempt, sending the suspect running out of the shop.
"I always planned for this," said Donald Pieri, 60, owner of Triangle Gun Shop in Perry Township. "You have to think it out."
State police charged Jeffrey J. Ierino, 32, of Wampum, Lawrence County, with attempted robbery and other offenses after tracking him to his house.
Mr. Pieri was sitting behind the counter talking with PennDOT consultant Paul Butera, 57, about a road project outside the shop when the masked gunman walked in at 11:24 a.m.
The suspect waved a semiautomatic in their faces, then tossed a bag to Mr. Pieri and told him to fill it with pistols.
At first, Mr. Pieri thought it was a prank.
"I actually had a smirk on my face," he said today at his shop.
But when he realized it wasn't a joke, he quickly dived behind a door leading into the back room and retrieved his own pistol from his office desk.
He said the sudden move startled the gunman enough so that he couldn't get off a shot. Instead, the masked man ran away.
State police thought yesterday that he jumped into a car driven by an accomplice, but today they think Mr. Ierino was acting alone and drove the getaway car himself.
Troopers were looking today for the gun outside the shop, where they think Mr. Ierino threw it as he ran.
He proved fairly easy to catch. Mr. Pieri said many people in the area had reported seeing a suspicious car driving around the shop in the morning, and at least two witnesses wrote down the license plate.
Within a couple of hours, troopers tracked Mr. Ierino to his house, but they said he ran off when they showed up.
They caught him about a block away at a bar.
Mr. Ierino, who has a long criminal record, is charged with attempted robbery, attempted theft, illegal possession of a gun, carrying a gun without a license, terroristic threats and simple assault.
He was being held in the Lawrence County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
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September 21st, 2007 03:41 PM
"But when he realized it wasn't a joke, he quickly dived behind a door leading into the back room and retrieved his own pistol from his office desk."
A gun store owner with a gun in the back by his desk? I bet he won't make that mistake next time...
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September 21st, 2007 09:24 PM
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
September 21st, 2007 09:42 PM
My thoughts too - ''gun in the back'' ....... he was lucky methinks.
Good result but I'd say the guy should consider on-body carry from now on in the store!!!
Chris - P95
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"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
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September 21st, 2007 10:23 PM
September 21st, 2007 10:59 PM
Like trying to rob a doughnut shop.
I can't for the life of me figure out why the shop owner was not armed. Like being under water and can't find a drink.
If I was working in... let alone the the owner of GS I would be armed and would require my employees to be armed as well.
You are running a GS not a bakery.
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!
-- Theodore Roosevelt --
September 21st, 2007 11:13 PM
That should be the last place anyone should attempt a robbery at. The owner should count his blessings (wake up call) OC in the store!!!
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."
September 21st, 2007 11:31 PM
ALL the employees at the shop I work at are armed. At least one carries a BUG in addition to the one carried on the hip. We also have a loaded surprise in case some nut comes in and we want a bit more fire power.
September 21st, 2007 11:46 PM
I can't fathom why a gun store owner would not be open-carrying, plus carrying a concealed backup that used the same caliber ammo/mags (for example Glock 22 on hip, 27 IWB or somewhere).
But beyond that, I don't see why he wouldn't obtain and wear some ballistic armor. I think I would.
September 22nd, 2007 01:56 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if most gun shop staff laugh at attempted robbers. I mean really. Come on.
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