by Robert A. Waters
“Give me your money or I’ll kill you.”
Those were the last words Eddie Felton, 20, spoke before being shot to death on May 22, 2012. He and his brother, Quinten Felton, 17, [pictured] had entered the Joppa Road Store in rural Gates County, North Carolina wearing bandanas over their faces. Eddie brandished a rifle.
The owner of the store, Duanne Ammann, was filling a cooler with drinks when the robbers burst in. They marched him at gunpoint to the cash register. As he opened it, Quinten slugged Ammann from behind, knocking him to the floor.
Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb told reporters that the robbers “beat [Ammann] down to the floor, kicking and stomping him in the back of the head and in his ribs. It was at that point where the store owner reached under the counter, while lying on the floor, for a weapon he kept there. He blindly fired a shot at one of the assailants, striking him in the abdomen.”
Quinten grabbed $250 from the register, and both robbers bolted for the door.
“At that point,” Webb said, “the second suspect [Eddie] was at or near the door and pointed his weapon at the store owner. The store owner then fired three shots at that suspect.”
Deputies responded to the scene and found two bodies. Quinten, hit in the stomach, had run into a wooded area 150 feet from the store. Eddie lay dead beside the store.
Sheriff Webb stated that Ammann had been beaten until he “was black and blue all over.” Paramedics transported him to a local hospital where he was treated and released.
He was not charged with any crime.
As so often happens, reporters seemed fascinated by the robbers. Eddie, a recent graduate from Perquimans County High School, had been a football and basketball star. His former principal told reporters that “[Eddie] was an all-around good student, very liked by his peers and teachers here in the community.”
The principal stated that Quinten was an honor roll student. He was “in line to graduate with our graduating class on June 8.”
The armed robbers came from a model family, reporters said.
But buried beneath the accolades was the fact that police in several jurisdictions believed the brothers had committed at least two similar robberies. Quinten’s MySpace pages showed him holding a rifle in a menacing manner. Was it the rifle Eddie used in his last robbery?
So we have two teenagers from a good home, with a loving family. They had every opportunity to succeed. But they decided to make a career robbing jiffy stores.
One thing they didn’t figure on was that, according to Sheriff Webb, almost every business owner in Gates County is armed.