Outnumbered two-to-one and with a shotgun barrel at the back of his head, a Georgia smoke shop employee pulled out his own handgun and fatally shot one of his assailants.
Police say two men entered Paradise Island Smoke Shop in Lithonia at around 1 p.m. Thursday, just after they had attempted to rob a check cashing store just a mile away, CBS Atlanta reported.
The assailants’ strategy involved distracting the smoke shop employee by asking for help with an item on a shelf. Paradise Island sells cigars, hookah, pipes, incense and other items.
When the employee turned towards the shelf, the other assailant pulled out a shotgun and stuck it at the back of the employee’s head.
Despite the precarious position, the employee turned around slowly and grabbed the gun, he told police. As he did that, he pulled out his own gun and fired several times, killing the assailant.
The dead man’s accomplice, who is 19, fled the store, and drove off in an SUV. He was arrested later after his father convinced him to turn himself in.
“It’s hard for you to make judgement on how someone reacts, you feel your life’s in jeopardy, it’s hard for us to pass judgement,” Captain Steven Fore told reporters.
The two suspects failed in their earlier heist attempt on the check cashing store because it has bullet-proof windows.