GOOD - Storeowner fends of robbers, St. Petersburg, FL

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Thread: GOOD - Storeowner fends of robbers, St. Petersburg, FL

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    Member Array rappa's Avatar
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    Thumbs up GOOD - Storeowner fends of robbers, St. Petersburg, FL

    St. Pete Storeowner Chases, Shoots At Armed Robbers

    This is the 3rd robbery attempt of a convenient store in the past week in that same area (St. Petersburg, FL).

    The prior 2, the store owners were unarmed and hospitalized after being shot by the robbers.

    This storeowner was ready!
    Watch your six!

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    Thank you, please (do NOT) come again!

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    The story...

    St. Pete Storeowner Chases, Shoots At Armed Robbers
    By HOWARD ALTMAN | The Tampa Tribune

    Published: December 7, 2008

    Updated: 03:52 pm

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    Video: Storeowner Returns To Work
    When John Silva opened his St. Petersburg variety store about 9 a.m. Sunday, he brought Gertrude with him.

    Gertrude, he says, was his grandfather's .22 caliber Sentinel Arms revolver. Silva's other gun, Betsy a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol was taken by St. Petersburg Police Saturday as evidence.

    Two men came in to John's Variety, 208 4th St. N., at about 8 p.m. Saturday, says Silva. Their faces were covered with something resembling a ninja mask, he says.

    They pointed what looked like a .45 caliber handgun at him.

    "They told me and a customer to 'get on the floor, give me your money,'" says Silva on the phone while tending to a customer looking for Tylenol. "I moved as if going down on the floor, reached for my gun, stood back up with the .380 in my hands and they ran like jackrabbits."
    Silva, 53, says he followed the men out of the store.

    "I let three rounds go," he says. "Unfortunately, I missed them."

    Not long after Silva chased the would-be robbers, St. Petersburg police arrested two men they say tried to rob the store.

    One, Benjamin Roland Jones, 19, 934 10th Ave. S., was picked up on Central Avenue.

    The other, Cory Jay Smith 21, was found hiding in a nearby lake and received a minor bite from a police K-9 dog, police said.

    Smith, 985 Melrose Ave. S., is being held in the Pinellas County Jail on a bond of $50,000.
    A former cook aboard the submarine U.S.S. Andrew Jackson and, more recently, a Merchant Marine, Silva says his actions were partly the result of his military training, partly instinctual.

    "I was taught how to use a gun in the Merchant Marines," he says. "Just how to use and shoot a gun, what to do if we get pirates on board. Nothing like what I had to deal with last night, close, face-to-face contact. I don't consider myself tough. But I can handle myself. I used to be a bouncer."

    When the two men pointed a gun at him, Silva says he just reacted.

    "I wasn't thinking," he says. "But you ain't getting my money. I instinctively grabbed the gun which I call Betsy. A girl's name, an appropriate name as far as I am concerned."

    Gertrude, he says, may be old, but still works.

    "It used to be my grandfather's gun, from when he was the harbor master for Provincetown, Mass.," he says.

    Silva says he was hoping the guys he shot at were connected to other recent armed robberies in St. Petersburg.

    "This would have stopped them and they could go to jail for a long freaking time," he says.

    However, after questioning the two men, police say they do not appear to be connected with recent armed robberies that left two brothers owners of different stores - wounded.

    In the span of three days last week, Narendra and Indravadan Patel were shot by robbers while working alone at night in their respective St. Petersburg stores. St. Petersburg police say the robberies might have been committed by the same two men.

    Narendra, who had been shot in the lung in a robbery a half-dozen years ago, was shot three times Monday night after emptying the cash register of the $40 it contained for one of the gunmen, detectives say. The thief was apparently unsatisfied with the amount.

    Though shot in the chest, hand and foot, Narendra was treated at Bayfront Medical Center and released after a couple of days, a hospital spokeswoman said.

    Indravadan was less fortunate, and didn't get a chance to cooperate. He was shot in the abdomen Wednesday as the gunman climbed over the counter.

    He is in critical condition at Bayfront, as family members wait to see whether doctors are able to deal with an infection so they can operate, Kirit Patel said.

    The take was roughly $250, police said.

    Descriptions, the weapons used and behavior of the robbers during the two other crimes do not match, police said.

    Neither has a prior arrest for armed robbery, though Jones is on probation for an auto theft charge, police said.

    Silva says there was no question about opening up his store after the robbery.

    "I had no second thoughts," he says. "I just brought another gun from home."

    *************************************************

    Nice job by the store owner, but I don't think he should have followed the thugs out of the store to shoot at them. OMO

    Stay armed...be prepared...stay safe!
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    Have to agree with you RS, following them out of the store and firing shots was stupid. Since he did not hit the BG's where did those rounds end up? I'm assuming that under FL CD he was legal to do so, just not an extremely smart thing to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Have to agree with you RS, following them out of the store and firing shots was stupid. Since he did not hit the BG's where did those rounds end up? I'm assuming that under FL CD he was legal to do so, just not an extremely smart thing to do.
    I'm not even sure if he was covered under the FL CD since the robbers were in retreat and he followed them outside of the store.

    I know I wouldn't have chased. Just for the possibility of there being other perps on lookout on the the outside.
    Watch your six!

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Statements like I learned to shoot in the merchant marines,apparently you haven't shot since and to randomly fire at moving targets and miss 3 times,good thing he averted a robbery but -10 on shooting discipline,he's lucky he didn't shoot an innocent person
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    I also disagree with his overall decision to shoot at a fleeing criminal.

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