Army Veteran Shot, Killed While Attempting To Rob Local Pharmacy

RADCLIFF, KENTUCKY — The body of a man killed during a robbery attempt has been identified as Army Veteran Burley Townson. Townson apparently came into the pharmacy to steal narcotics. An armed employee shot and killed Townson during the robbery attempt.

Burley Townson, 57, of Fort Knox, was shot four times and pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner’s office. Radcliff Police Chief Jeff Cross said the investigation into the shooting is nearly complete.

“We don’t anticipate any charges against the person who fired the shots,” Cross said.

An employee of the store shot and killed Townson. Cross said Townson was wearing a mask when he entered the pharmacy. “He didn’t walk around the store,” Cross said. “He knew what he was after when he went in.”

ApotheCare owner Gary Hamm said Sat­ur­day the man came into the store about 9:15 a.m. with a weapon in an attempt to steal narcotics.

Townson, a married father of three and a grandfather of two children, was a veteran of the Gulf War and retired from the U.S. Army where he worked as a military police officer. He also retired from the state of Florida where he worked as a K-9 sergeant, according to his obituary.

According to Fort Knox offi­cials, he also ser­ved in the National Guard.

Via The News Enterprise

The Breakdown:

Townson entered the store around 9am with a singular purpose; score some narcotics. He didn’t browse the store or walk around scouting things out. He came in with a weapon and intended to walk out of there with his desired narcotics. However, things didn’t go according to plan.

During the course of the robbery attempt, an employee at the pharmacy intervened. The employee was armed and saw an opportunity to stop the robbery in progress. Unaware of the armed employee, Townson was shot four times. He died at the scene.

Police do not intend to charge the armed employee for the shooting.

The Bad:

What a tragedy for the Townson family, and for our country. Who knows what happened to this Gulf War veteran that drove him to these actions. He spent a lifetime serving his country. In addition to being a Gulf War vet, Townson also served as an MP, and in the National Guard. His last job was a police Sergent in the the K-9 unit.

We hear a lot about veterans slipping through the system and not getting the care they need. Was this the case with Townson? It is a tragedy that Townsown had to turn to this kind of life, and an even a greater tragedy that after years of honorable service to his country, he died as an armed robber trying to steal narcotics.

The Good:

Great job to our unnamed armed employee. He comes to work everyday prepared to defend himself and protect his co-workers. When he saw a masked man enter the store and rob the pharmacy for narcotics, he stepped up and stopped the crime; and stopped anyone in the store from getting hurt.

I am sure it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Especially now, knowing he shot and killed someone with the past Townson had. However, he was in his legal rights to do so, and it had to be done to save lives. The employee had no idea how dangerous Townson was or what he was capable of.

The employee looks to have been cleared by the police for his actions, and consider the case a defensive gun shooting.

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About the Author

Xavier Roberts has worked in the firearms industry for several years, and has written previously about gun laws, self defense, and product reviews. His EDC gun is a Chippia Rhino 40DS in an Alien Gear Holster, along with a Templar Knife and a Rugged Rosary.

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