A restaurant is open as usual after the owner shot two armed robbers who broke into the business last night. In an unusual twist, both robbers had guns, but neither was loaded.
News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports detectives say the 16-year-old suspect was carrying a Colt .22 revolver and had bullets in his pocket, but not in the gun.
The 14-year-old was carrying a Ruger .45 revolver that was also empty.
It's baffling they would take unloaded guns into a robbery, knowing full well they could encounter someone with a loaded gun and that's exactly what happened.
Don Gibson bought Ralph's Fish and Burger Shack less than a year ago and has had a good, steady neighborhood crowd and no problems, until Tuesday night when it was time to close up.
"I was doing book work; my nephew was leaving for the night. He screamed, help, they got guns," said Gibson.
Gibson grabbed his Smith and Wesson .38 and ran toward the front. He saw his nephew on the ground with one person standing over him and another man coming through this door, so Gibson fired twice.
"I guess I hit ‘em and Randy go back in and got the door locked and I could hear one of the suspects out there yelling and screaming. He was trying to get in the building. We called 911," said Gibson.
Gibson also pulled the panic alarm and police arrived. They took one suspect to the hospital. The second one showed up at a hospital a couple of hours later.
Gibson is thankful his nephew is okay and they had a way to protect themselves. He wasn't thinking about the age of the robbers or whether they guns were loaded, he just wanted to survive.
"When I heard guns, I was scared to death we'd be next. So many armed robberies, lots of shootings," said Gibson.
When asked what he would do it if happened again, Gibson says, he'd do the same thing all over again and he has advice for other business owners about having a weapon.
"Carry it and be ready to use it. Don't pull it unless you're ready to use it," said Gibson.
Gibson says he has a license to carry a concealed weapon, but police say he wouldn't have been required to have a license in this instance.
Even though the suspects are 14 and 16, police say they've dealt with both of them before.
The 16-year-old is still in the hospital and the 14-year-old was released and is juvenile detention.