WATERLOO, IOWA — Charles Earl Jones, 21, had his day in court where he described his side of the circumstances surrounding why police recovered him with a single gunshot wound to the armpit fourteen minutes after a reported armed robbery took place in the same neighborhood.
According to Jones’ statement, he was searching for a Wi-Fi signal at the time of the robbery and the armed robber took his coat and his possessions before exiting the area. The story is a bit weak considering surveillance footage doesn’t corroborate him walking around an elementary school at the time. However, facing charges of armed robbery, going armed, carrying weapons and false reports, Jones plead ‘not guilty’ and wants his day in court.
From the account given by the store clerk, it sounds like he’s lucky to have survived long enough to get that.
The Waterloo Courier covered Jones’ court case. The store clerk who allegedly shot him appeared in court to testify on his account of the situation.
According to the clerk, he had never fired a gun before but a police officer showed him how to properly handle it. He kept the gun under the counter — a small .380 ACP pistol. While another clerk was closing up for the evening, the armed clerk found himself dozing off behind the counter. He awoke to a masked, armed man telling his associate to clean out the cash registers.
“He didn’t see me before. When he saw me, he pointed the gun to me and said ‘don’t move,’” the armed clerk said.
Charles Earl Jones then turned his attention back to a colleague and proceeded to get him to clean out a second register. Realizing he had only moments to defend himself, his coworker, and the store’s property, he carefully loaded a round into the handgun.
SEE ALSO: Why we carry with a round in the chamber
When the robber saw that the clerk had moved, he opened fire with his 9mm pistol.
“What did you do when he shot at you?” Assistant Black Hawk Count Attorney Brad Walz asked Chaudry.
“I just sat down,” Chaudry said.
“What happened next?” Walz said.
“Next then, I stood up and at that moment, I fired,” the manager said.
The robber fled the scene. Police allege that the man they picked up across the street with a lone gunshot wound is likely the same person who robbed the store. Jones’ hands tested positive for gunpowder residue, indicating that he had used firearms very recently. He was treated for his non-life-threatening gunshot wound and then placed under arrest.
Jones’ hand print was found on the counter of the convenience store. Jones claims he’s never even shopped at the convenience store before — indicating that his story is a bundle of sticks.
This goes to show that clerks around the country are becoming less and less interested in quietly being victimized by armed thugs. And, as we see here, a man with absolutely no live-fire training experience was still able to wield a gun effectively in an exchange of fire.
The clerk did right. He got cover when the bullets started flying and returned fire in a controlled, precise manner. Heck, he managed to hit a moving target on his first go-round — that’s impressive.