Man Uses Concealed Weapon To Stop Robbery

Wednesday, April 11th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

A citizen shoots a robber during a grocery store heist. It happened more than a year ago in the Homeland store at 91st and Memorial. The man has never shared his story until now, and he spoke only to News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright. She reports it was a tough decision for him to make.

It was split second and life or death. The man and his wife had been to the movies and stopped at the grocery store on the way home. They were in the check-out line when the robbery unfolded right in front of them. Joseph saw the men walk into the grocery store and head to the store office with the managers as they pulled their t-shirts over their faces.

Even though he spent 21 years in the military, and believes he made the right decision, it's hard for him to talk about.

"The gentleman I shot produced a handgun and placed it against the manager's head like this and I thought, I need to do something, so, it's harder to talk about, I pulled my weapon, sighted him and fired two shots," said Joseph.

He hit one of the robbers once. Michael Curly, dragged himself out of the store. Another suspect, Mark Brown, ran off. Both men were arrested months later.

Joseph had gotten his concealed carry permit 7 years earlier, and had practiced shooting regularly.

"The only time you can use deadly force is when you believe a life is at stake, and my belief was that manager was about to be killed and I had to do something about it," he said.

Joseph had a Smith and Wesson 357 revolver that night, with five shots and would've been outgunned had the robber shot back. Now, he carries a glock 357 semi-auto with 14 rounds and a laser site.

"I don't regret having shot him,” Joseph said. “I also am pleased he didn't die, for a couple of reasons. Nobody likes to take a life and the other is, maybe he'll tell his friends they need to think twice, or three times about doing what they've been doing."

Joseph never faced any charges in the case, and police returned his gun to him a week later. The man he shot had been given a 40 year prison sentence in 1995 for crimes in Oklahoma City that involved rape, robbery, torture and scalding, but he got out after serving only eight. He is now testifying against other robbers so he hasn't been sentenced for this crime yet.

Click here for a WEB EXCLUSIVE of Joseph’s entire interview with News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright