Saturday, April 20, 2024

Be Careful, It's Dangerous Out There

True Stories of Robbers Who Faced Instant Justice

By Robert A. Waters

California Robbers Learn a Hard Lesson

So two career criminals from California thought it might be a good idea to travel to Springdale, Arkansas and rob a gun shop. What could go wrong?

On one frigid morning in December, 2014, Marcus Gould and Leon Roberson entered C & S Gun and Pawn. As they walked in, the duo leveled down on shop owners Clint and Shirley Cornett (pictured above). Holding a semi-automatic handgun, Gould leaped over a glass case to get behind the counters. As he did so, Shirley pulled a .38 caliber revolver from her pocket and fired three rounds. Gould, hit in the shoulder, turned and fired at Shirley as she took cover behind the counter. The robbers, deciding the heist was not such a good idea, fled.

The Californians jumped into Roberson's car and took off for Fort Smith. There, he deposited Gould at a local hospital. But he soon returned to check on his buddy and both were arrested. Shirley, who was grazed by one of Gould's rounds, was not charged with any crime. Both men faced Attempted Capital Murder charges as well as Aggravated Robbery counts. At trial, each got 37 years in the Arkansas State Prison system.

Uber Driver Kills Armed Robber

Early on the morning of December 18, 2016, Uber driver Namique Anderson picked up a fare from a condo in Miami, Florida. Driving a Toyota Carolla, they headed toward Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The Sun-Sentinel reported that "as they headed west on Northeast 192nd Street, the Toyota was cut off by someone driving a newer model Dodge Caravan."

Just an hour earlier, the driver of the Caravan, Kevin DeVincent Johnson (pictured above), had committed an armed robbery. Now he jumped out of his car and walked toward the Uber driver. Holding two handguns, Johnson announced he was robbing the occupants of the Toyota. That's when Anderson pulled his own licensed firearm and fired four shots. Johnson, hit by all four rounds, crumpled to the asphalt and died. Anderson was not charged, but since Uber policy prohibits drivers from carrying firearms, he faced termination. In response, Anderson said, "Honestly, it doesn't matter if I lose the job. I have to protect my life. That's all I did."

Shotgun-Toting Robber Learns a Painful Lesson

It's amazing that Gabriel Gonzales and his two cohorts didn't notice the firearm. Maybe their masks got in the way, or maybe it was the darkness. The gun hung in plain sight, inside a holster on Zane Friend's hip. The night clerk (pictured above) at Chip's Quick Stop in Joelton, Tennessee stood outside the convenience store, taking a smoke break. A former Marine, he'd worked there for 19 years.

With Gonzales holding a stolen shotgun, the three robbers rushed Friend. Two thugs sidled up behind their intended victim while Gonzales aimed his firearm at the clerk's chest and ordered him to go back inside the store. It was over in a second. Friend pulled his weapon and fired one shot, hitting Gonzales in the abdomen. The others fled. Friend moved the shotgun to a safe place, then helped two customers who had just arrived provide first aid for the robber. Gonzales, in critical condition, was transported to Skyline Medical Center.

The robbers were suspected of several other armed robberies in the area. According to WZTV in Nashville, "A Clarksville teen who tried to rob a Nashville store with a shotgun but was shot by the clerk now faces federal charges." 

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