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Another Charlotte Store Clerk Shoots And Kills Armed Robbers

The Subway restaurant where Monday's attempted robbery and shooting took place. align=left

This week two young men tried to rob a Subway in north Charlotte at gunpoint. But their plan backfired when, according to police, the store clerk refused to hand over the money and instead, shot and killed one man and wounded the other. It's a familiar story. There were at least two other similar incidents in the Charlotte area in the past year. The two men entered the Subway on West Sugar Creek Monday night during dinner time. Witnesses said they pulled out their guns and demanded money. The store clerk wasn't about to give it to them. Instead, he drew a gun and shot them. Now, this is not what Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police recommend. They say victims should obey all the robber's orders and not fight or use a weapon. It's not clear what Subway advises, since the company won't comment on security protocol. But former Union County District Attorney John Snyder says he sure understands why people decide to fight back. "An employee somewhere decides I've had enough. I'm not going to lose my life for $8 an hour and they take action," says Snyder. He says this isn't all that uncommon. Snyder dealt with a similar case last year when he was still a DA. A man tried to rob a food mart at gunpoint and the two store clerks shot and killed him. Snyder decided not to charge the clerks with involuntary manslaughter. After all, the man entered the store pointing a gun at them. Snyder publicly praised the clerks for their bravery and declared "a no-return policy on armed robbery." "The word was clear if you're going to engage in this dangerous behavior, you may face an untimely end," says Snyder. In October, a Pizza Hut employee in east Charlotte shot and killed two robbers. Charges were not filed in that instance either. Police have not decided yet whether to charge the Subway employee. Yesterday, many nearby business owners were afraid to talk. After talking to Dela Geraldo, it's easy to understand why. He names one business after another that's been robbed, including his own, Liberty Food Mart. It was robbed October 19th, 2005. "I still have one bullet in my spine and they can't take it out. If they took it out, I'd be paralyzed." Geraldo was shot three times, twice in the chest, and once in the lower abdomen for $1,800. Now Geraldo's store has bullet-proof glass around the cash register. And just in case he carries a 45 caliber handgun to protect himself. He thinks it's good that the Subway clerk was armed, and feels no sympathy for the robbers. He says that's the risk they take if they go into a business pointing a gun.