Monday, July 15, 2019

Catch-22 at the Food Mart
by Robert A. Waters

It’s a crapshoot, a dilemma for many store clerks.  Should I arm myself even though my employer insists his store must be a gun-free zone?

That decision can mean life or death.

The New York Times once wrote that convenience store clerks have the second most dangerous job in America (behind cab drivers).  Every day proves the Times right.

Last month in Houston, Se Young Lee complied with three masked robbers who targeted the ExxonMobil gas station and convenience store where he worked.  Lee opened the cash register so they could take the money, then held his hands in the air.  They murdered him anyway.

Trisha Stull, clerk at a Sunhouse food mart in Conway, Texas, handed over the day’s receipts to three robbers.  As they left the store, one robber turned and shot her dead.  Just three weeks before, the gang had murdered another compliant store clerk, Bala Parachuri.

In Kelso, Washington, Kayla Chapman died during a late-night robbery at Holt’s Quik Chek.  Even though she gave cash and cigarettes to the robbers, it didn’t stop them from gunning her down.

The following case might have ended the same way.

While working the graveyard shift in a Portland, Orgeon Plaid Pantry [convenience store], Kristopher Follis made a decision that cost him his job.  A robber, his face covered, entered and pulled a hatchet from his pocket.  After the assailant demanded money, Follis, a concealed carry permit holder, retrieved his handgun.  Holding the firearm in the air, Follis demanded that the robber get on his knees and wait for police.  The thief laid his weapon on the counter, apologized, then fled.

Although no shots were fired, Follis was quickly terminated.

Most chain convenience stores have policies against keeping firearms on the premises.  The Oregonian newspaper reported that Plaid Pantry CEO Jonathan Polonsky said in a statement that ‘in the event a robbery does occur, the focus shifts entirely to non-resistance, cooperation, and violence avoidance for the safety of our employees and customers.’”

In other words, the CEO wants his frontline employees to take a chance they won’t be assaulted or murdered.  As stated above, it’s a crapshoot, with clerks being caught in the crosshairs of company policy or common sense.

Follis told reporters he hated losing his job.  But he added, “I would rather get fired over something like that than possibly be in the hospital dying.”

Thousands of compliant clerks have been murdered by ruthless killers.  Here are two examples from my blog:

Linda Raulerson, a Lake City, Florida clerk at Joy American Foods, handed over the cash register tray to an armed robber, then was shot to death.  Video surveillance showed that she complied and offered no resistance.  Her killer has never been caught.

Lee Ann Larmon, working the graveyard shift at the Presto convenience store in Hernando County, Florida, was kidnapped, raped, tortured, and murdered by two losers, Todd Mendyk and Phillip Frantz.

Robert A. Waters and Sim Waters are authors of Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms.


Jack Burton said...

We had the same exact thing happen here a few years ago at a store I shop in. The middle aged female clerk was killed by a young punk who turned back after walking away, and then shot her at close range. He is currently serving life. That's why I've carried on every job I've had... regardless of the law and regulations.

Foster Coker said...

You cannot put yourself at the mercy of people who have none.