A pizza delivery driver used his concealed carry firearm to shoot and kill an armed suspect during an attempted robbery of a pizza shop in Ohio on Sunday.
According to WDTN, two armed men in face masks attempted to rob a Papa John’s in New Carlisle just after 11 p.m., but the armed delivery driver drew his concealed carry firearm and fired at the suspects, killing one while the second suspect fled the scene.
In a call to 911 following the shooting, an unnamed Papa John’s employee told an emergency dispatcher that “someone just broke in and they were shot in self-defense.”
“They came right in with weapons and tried to rob us,” the employee said. “They’re still in here. There’s one shot and wounded on the floor. One of them ran out.”
“They had weapons. The one’s got a big crowbar, the other one had what looked like a knife. And they were sprinting toward us,” he continued. “It looked like a knife or like hedge clippers or something. They came sprinting in and ran up on us fast.”
The employee who fired his weapon at the burglars also spoke with dispatch and said he was distraught.
“I’m too upset to talk right now,” the second employee said on the phone with the emergency operator. “I’m willing to cooperate when you get here. I don’t have the firearm in my hand.”
The 911 operator advised the two employees present during the attempted robbery to remain in the building and provide aid to the wounded suspect, 21-year-old Gage Melton, but they told the dispatcher that they didn’t have enough clean towels to stop the bleeding, WDTN reported.
The dispatcher then asked the employees where the gun was, to which the first employee responded, “He still has it, do you need him to put it somewhere?”
The dispatcher told the employee to put the gun on the counter so the police arriving on scene would know where the gun was.
“I just need to know where it’s at. Where’s he putting it at?” the dispatcher asked.
“It’s right on the open when you first walk in the door on the front counter,” the employee responded.
WBTN reported that the sheriff’s office is still looking for the second suspect, and both law enforcement and Tom Hagel, a legal expert, believe the shooting was justified, particularly given that the robbers’ were wielding deadly weapons.
“If you have a lawful right to be where you’re at, you can stand your ground and use deadly force in response to a threat of deadly force,” Hagel, a law professor at the University of Dayton School of Law, said. “If he [the shooter] is being threatened with serious bodily harm or death, and it is presumed that is happening, if he is being victimized as a victim of an armed robbery, it’s assumed they’re threatening his safety, then he can use deadly force without any duty to run away.”