ORANGE PARK, FLORIDA — When an armed suspect entered a convenience store, one concealed carrier knew he had seconds to determine if he was friend or foe. The clerk, who has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, saw a man park in front of the store and leave his car running, he suspected something nefarious was brewing. By the time the suspected robber revealed he had a loaded handgun, the clerk drew his pistol and shot him center mass.
According to the Florida Times-Union, the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The deceased has been identified as 29-year-old William Kyle Smith. The incident was captured by video surveillance at the scene but has not been released to the general public. The clerk had his name withheld from the story on account of his lawful use of a handgun in protecting himself and stopping the commission of a violent felony.
This happens only two weeks from an internet cafe clerk having to use deadly force to protect himself from an armed robber and nearly two months from another incident at a gas station nearby. In that incident, both the clerk and the suspect were shot.
Concealed carriers — and especially clerks working behind the counter — in the state of Florida seem to need that everyday carry gun more and more.
In this particular case, the clerk is not expected to be charged with any crime but the gas station’s management has withheld comment.
This is an increasing reality of life or death situations. Small clues, such as a man quickly pulling up in his car and jumping out with a gun, only give us mere seconds to respond.
Believe it or not, that’s not a lot to go on when you’re contemplating whether or not you need to use deadly force to protect yourself. One thing is for certain, this clerk refused to be a victim.
That only happens when the concealed carrier makes a conscious decision to carry everyday, everywhere legally possible. At a place like a convenience store, it just makes sense to protect yourself and those around you. This guy did it right. While we hope no one else will need to, we know it’s going to happen.
Why not prepare for it? Carry concealed everyday.